July 10, 2019 (Kelowna, B.C.) – Thanks to an innovative pilot project from the Government of B.C. and United Way of the Lower Mainland, deliveries of free pads and tampons will soon be arriving for Okanagan residents in need.
Periods are a fact of life. But if you’re living in poverty – or vulnerable in other ways – access to menstrual products can be challenging.
The United Way Period Promise Research Project is tackling period poverty in B.C., by piloting community-based solutions.
This will be the first research project of its kind in Canada. It is backed by a $95,000 grant from the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. The project was announced April 2019, when the Ministry of Education also shared its ministerial order that all schools in B.C. provide menstrual products free-of-charge to students.
By the end of the summer community organizations like Living Positive Resource Centre will be provided with menstrual products for clients in need, thanks to the local expertise and support of United Way Southern Interior BC.
Community organizations receiving and distributing donations will also capture information about how period poverty is affecting local residents. They will hear how improved access to menstrual products is impacting their lives. This data will be shared with the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, so we can build solutions that make vulnerable people’s lives better.
If you’ve struggled to afford menstrual products, your voice matters. Go to http://www.periodpromise.ca/survey to take a 4 minute confidential survey. To find accessible menstrual products in your area, please contact Living Positive Resource Centre.
This pilot project is proudly supported by Pacific Blue Cross, Vancity, Always and Tampax. Thank you to each of these Supporting Sponsors for their leadership and commitment to ensuring the successful roll out and promotion of this project.
“Period poverty renders people vulnerable and isolated in our communities, but now we can be part of the solution. Local donations have made a difference. Organizational policies to provide free menstrual products have made a difference. Now, this innovative pilot to provide pads and tampons will help tackle this issue at the local level, across our province. We commend the Government of B.C. for their leadership on this issue.”
– Neal Adolph, Director of the CLC Labour Participation department at United Way of the Lower Mainland, and one of the organizers of United Way’s Period Promise campaign.
This Spring, the local Hospital Employees Union, UFCW 1518 and North Okanagan Labour Council plus the West Kelowna Shoppers Drug Mart gathered period products and delivered them to United Way Southern Interior BC as part of the Period Promise initiative. These products were distributed to local charity partners to give to their clients in Kelowna and Penticton.
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Find out more about the United Way Period Promise campaign: https://www.periodpromise.ca/
Read TogetherBC: B.C.’s Poverty Reduction Strategy: https://www.gov.bc.ca/TogetherBC/
To read more about other poverty reduction grants this year, visit:
- SPARC BC Homelessness Community Action Grant: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019SDPR0046-001223
- Vancity Provincial Rent Bank Program: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019SDPR0043-001206