The Dignity Vending Machine is a world-first innovation that dispenses a free period pack containing six tampons and two pads at the push of a button.
Share the Dignity purchase and supply the specially made period packs in the Dignity Vending Machines.
Each Dignity Vending Machine is programmed with a delivery delay of 10 minutes (or three minutes in schools) to ensure no period packs are wasted.
At Share the Dignity, we are passionate about empowering and supporting people to live a life of dignity and safety. To ensure access to pads and tampons to the most vulnerable or living in period poverty, we will continue installing Dignity Vending Machines in public toilets, charities, homeless hubs, domestic violence refuges, community centres, hospitals, Aboriginal Health Services working on improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples menstrual health, and low socioeconomic schools across Australia.
Since installing the first machine in December 2016 we have installed hundreds of Dignity Vending Machines Australia-wide.
We understand that this solution is not long-term, which is why we also advocate for change.
Our Dignity Drives also collect and distribute period products to our registered charities, which includes reusable products such as menstrual cups and period underwear for those who are in a position to use them.
Read the results of a preliminary Australian study on the impact of our Dignity Vending Machines here.
Inspiration for our Dignity Vending Machines
Share the Dignity was shocked to discover that people were using rolled-up toilet paper and hand towels to manage their periods. We could not believe that people were having to choose between feeding their family or buying period products. School children should not have to miss school to avoid the embarrassment of not being able to afford pads and tampons.
Our Founder and Managing Director, Rochelle, dreamed of finding a way for women, girls and those who menstruate who are doing it tough to access free period products, without the anxiety and shame that many feel when having to ask someone else for help.
The state of period poverty in Australia is unacceptable. We acted and created the Dignity Vending Machine. We have heard too many stories of women, girls and those who menstruate having to resort to using rags or socks or using products for too long because they could not afford more, which is a major health risk.
Where are Dignity Vending Machines?
Share the Dignity installs Dignity Vending Machines with free sanitary products in areas where those experiencing hardship can easily and simply access them right across Australia in:
- Aboriginal Health Services
- Community centres
- Domestic and family violence refuges and services
- Homeless hubs and specialist homelessness services
- Low socio-economic schools
- Public toilets
- Specialised health care services.
Find Your Closest Dignity Vending Machine
Use the map to find your closest Dignity Vending Machine. Each one is named after someone we've helped, who has inspired the Share the Dignity team or an organisation or person who has funded the machine. The vending machines listed are publicly accessible. We also have Dignity Vending Machines in domestics violence refuges and schools, which are not listed here.
How can you support our Dignity Vending Machines?
Sponsor a Dignity Vending Machine
Each Dignity Vending Machine costs $25,000 to build, install and maintain for four years with #PinkBox supplies. Sponsorship delivers a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) opportunity that empowers those in need through your business.
Each Dignity Vending Machine has a space to showcase its sponsor.
Expressions of Interest for a Machine
We work hard to ensure all of our Dignity Vending Machines are located in areas that can help those in need. We need your help to locate these high-need areas. If you think your location would be a suitable site, we invite you to complete the application form.
If you are a school that would like a Dignity Vending Machine, please fill out our contact us form.
Feedback from organisations that have a Dignity Vending Machine on site
One of the ladies who attends our English Language classes shared with one of the staff that the pink box has helped her to be able to keep coming to class each week. She shared that they often don’t have enough money for sanitary items and when this happens, she doesn’t leave the house and stays home for that time. Now she can come to the Centre and know that she can get what she needs and see her friends and learn English.
Northside Connect, Nundah, Qld
We have a lot of young women sheepishly come to the counter asking for products - we tell them about the vending machine, and they think it's great as it takes away the embarrassment of having to ask.
AC Care, Berri, SA
The machine has assisted to break down barriers for those who require the use of the machine. Many of the mums who visit our Centre have consistently expressed their appreciation to the workers for the ability to access personal hygiene products in such a user-friendly and non-judgmental manner.
The fact that they can access the products safely and privately without having to request them from someone has been such a supportive process that ensured their dignity and self-esteem were considered and strengthened. As a Community Centre that has many clients visiting each day, the vending machine has provided support to many, many individuals who would otherwise have struggled to put their own needs first.
Barnardos Children’s Family Centre, Downer, ACT