72andSunny Made a Fake Cereal With Period Products as the Prize
In the U.S., nearly one in four people who menstruate experience period poverty, the struggle to access tampons and pads. These products are not eligible through SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), resulting in difficult decisions like choosing food over period products.
On International Women's Day yesterday, 72andSunny New York launched "Loopholes," a faux cereal brand with a month's worth of tampons and pads inside as the prize. It allows them to bypass the SNAP loophole that prevents users from buying them solo, but when mixed with food, totally different.
"Because there are no major federal programs to help women get these products, we started thinking about ways we could 'pull one over' on the government, and get them to provide a need they consistently ignore," say Anne Marie Wonder and Emily Hovis, senior creative team at 72andSunny New York. "Once we learned that cereal is the single most purchased good with SNAP benefits, the solution was obvious. Give women the most useful 'prize' of all while getting the federal government to pay for these items."
Made in conjunction with PERIOD, Free the Period, Ignite, No More Secrets, The Flow Initiative, August and plant-based cereal brand OffLimits, the Loopholes website provides information on the Menstrual Equity for All Act of 2021, a bill that would use federal grant money to provide free menstrual products in schools, homeless shelters, prisons and public federal buildings. Users can send a message to their representative and donate supplies to nonprofits working to close the period poverty gap.
"We've worked with the bill's author, Representative Grace Meng, and her team, and we truly believe in the power of this bill which will make pads and tampons freely available at schools, universities and prisons, as well as expand Medicaid to cover menstrual care," the 72andSunny duo tell Muse.
A 50-second video that's strong on snark brings the faux cereal to life by explaining period poverty and how to circumnavigate the loophole that prevents women from using federal money to buy tampons and pads. And that's where the upbeat song and dancing pads and tampons come in. "It's a box full of cereal with tampons inside/Since cereal is food, SNAP will pay for the prize. Loopholes cereal. Part of an unbalanced society."
Loopholes cereal will be discussed on a panel at SXSW, and real boxes will be distributed. Prior to that, boxes were sent to politicians, activists and influencers across the country and distributed at the Mar Vista Farmers Market in L.A.
"We still have a huge gender imbalance in our government, and if you've never menstruated, it's impossible to understand just how devastating it is to not have access to these products," adds Wonder and Hovis. "And the FDA doesn't like putting period care products in food, so that's always fun."