Period Packs assembled, distributed in Jamestown

3 local groups assembled the packs from donated supplies to help reduce barriers to access to the products.

Period Project 2023.jpg
Volunteers from three groups assembled menstrual products recently at the University of Jamestown to give away to those in need at Jamestown schools and other locations. Donations provided the supplies for the Period Packs.
Kathy Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

JAMESTOWN — About 270 Period Packs were assembled Easter weekend at the University of Jamestown and distributed to schools in Jamestown where girls can get them at no charge.

Members of Feminist First Friday, Zonta Club of Jamestown and the UJ Golden Z Club worked together to pack donated and purchased menstrual products. They were then distributed to Jamestown elementary schools, Jamestown Middle School, Jamestown High School, Community Action Region VI, Safe Shelter and Buffalo Bridges Human Service Zone.

Cindi Psychos, a member of Feminist First Friday, said the North Dakota Women’s Network provided some of the products that were assembled into packs. Collection bins were also located around the community where people could donate products, including at UJ, Two Rivers Activity Center, Full Monte Salon and Spa and Comfort in Warehouse West. Donations for supplies were also provided by Kari Newman Ness and Walmart.

The North Dakota Period Project is an initiative of the North Dakota Youth Action Council, which is part of the North Dakota Women’s Network, a statewide nonprofit with a mission to improve the lives of women in North Dakota.

The Period Project includes activities, fundraisers, awareness campaigns and rallies designed to promote menstrual equity, according to the North Dakota Women's Network website. It seeks to reduce barriers to access to menstrual products.


This is the second year that Period Packs were assembled in Jamestown. Last year, 109 Period Packs were distributed. The packs assembled this year contained lip balm, hand sanitizer, tampons, pads/liners and information on how to correctly use tampons, the Period Project and the “tampon tax.” Patty Richter sewed 100 makeup bags that were used for Period Packs and some bags were donated, said Penny Briese, a registered nurse and associate professor of nursing and Simulation Lab coordinator in the Department of Nursing at UJ, who spearheaded the local Period Pack assembly event. Briese is also the UJ Golden Z Club adviser on the UJ campus.

The Period Packs distributed to the elementary schools contained only pads along with information on how to correctly use them after the groups received permission from the Jamestown Public School Board, Briese said.

The Period Packs distributed at JMS and JHS were delivered to school offices and were expected to be available at counselors’ offices and at the B-Unique store at JHS.

For their specific needs, Safe Shelter, Community Action Region VI and Buffalo Bridges Human Service Zone received packages of products instead of the Period Packs.

Briese said last year the UJ Golden Z Club began a project to help provide feminine hygiene products in all female bathrooms on campus. UJ Golden Z Club is a service club and spinoff of the Zonta Club of Jamestown. Briese said they found that university students have difficulties affording the cost of feminine hygiene products.

... talking to the counselors at the schools, there is a real need for this type of thing because not everybody can afford it ...
Mary Reed, president, Zonta Club of Jamestown

“On campus here, we do what’s called the Care Cups,” she said of the club. “So we have red Solo cups in each of the women’s bathrooms across campus with feminine hygiene products in it. And about once every other week, we walk around campus and refill them. And there is definitely a need here on the UJ campus. They (the club) actually requested and got a $500 grant from the UJ Student Senate so we can keep this project going all the way into next year.”

She said it was disappointing that the North Dakota Legislature “still believes feminine hygiene products are a luxury” and defeated a bill in the current legislative session that would have eliminated the tax on those products.

That disappointment was echoed by Mary Reed, president of the Zonta Club of Jamestown.


“These products are so expensive and it is a burden on people to have to purchase them and
and not everybody remembers to bring it, and it’s an embarrassing thing to ask for,” she said.

Zonta Club of Jamestown, seeing the need for products, also created its own way to help provide them.

“Instead of a Christmas gift exchange, we do something called ‘Tampons Not Tinsel’ and we bring feminine hygiene products in instead of buying gifts … ,” she said.

Those products then are donated to Community Action Region VI or the Salvation Army, Reed said.

Briese said the groups are planning another Period Pack assemble event in the fall.

Kathy Steiner has been the editor of The Jamestown Sun since 1995. She graduated from Valley City State College with a bachelor's degree in English and studied mass communications at North Dakota State University, Fargo. She reports on business, government and community topics in the Jamestown area. Reach her at 701-952-8449 or
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