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UK charity Bloody Good Period is reporting a surge in the number of menstrual packs they have donated since the beginning of the pandemic.

The charity — which donates packs of menstrual products to refugees, food banks, staff at the UK’s National Health Service staff and homeless people — reports that it has given more than 54,000 packs of period products since March.

Usually, BGP donates 2,000 products a month, according to data from the organization. This year, the charity reported surging numbers came in April, May and June.

In April alone, 10,631 packs were distributed. This huge increase is partially because of stockpiling, among other factors.

“Frontline workers were working such long hours that they couldn’t get to shops to buy period products, and if they could get there, they typically found empty shelves as people were stockpiling pads and tampons,” the organization’s CEO and founder, Gabby Edlin, said in a statement.

BGP has focused its donations on groups that support asylum-seekers and refugees. To date, these groups have received 30% of the overall donations, according to the charity.

BGP is bracing for the situation to worsen, though.

“There’s really no let-up in sight to this increased level of demand — in fact we are planning for demand to continue to increase. As recession bites, more people lose their jobs, and more people are pushed into financial hardship and poverty,” Edlin said in the statement. “Periods continue to happen, every month. If people don’t have the products they need, they’re forced to use alternatives like toilet paper, socks, newspaper, or to not change pads or tampons frequently — all of those options are obviously not appropriate, and can cause infections. Some people have no choice but to use nothing at all.”

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