By Kendall Barbacovi, Communications & Development Coordinator
We all appreciate toilet paper, but it’s something you don’t think about until it’s no longer available. You can always go out and buy some more, right? Actually, that’s not what recent data has been telling us.
According to Feeding America, among households that reported being unable to afford basic household goods, a majority (73 percent of higher-income families and 58 percent of low-income families) indicated that they cut back on food in order to pay for things like toilet paper. Of those who had to cut back on food, nearly a quarter did so each month in order to afford basic household goods.
This is called “Hygiene Poverty”, which means families are not able to afford basic things like soap, paper towels, or toilet paper. Just because someone can’t afford food, does not mean they can afford every basic need. Hygiene poverty has a detrimental effect on one’s mental health and can leave folks to feel too embarrassed to leave their home.
Even though it is technically the last day to TP CommUnity, the need for hygiene products does not stop. Since our food bank prioritizes providing local families with food to eat, accessibility to things like toilet paper isn’t as frequent or reliable. That’s where you come in. It can look as simple as becoming a part of Mission Circle, our monthly giving campaign or dropping off some rolls at the food bank. Let’s say you donate $15 a month, which is the average monthly cost of toilet paper for one person in the U.S., that would mean you are wiping away the recurring worry of having to choose between toilet paper or food.
Articles on Hygiene Poverty: