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United Way of Northern B.C. aims to collect 100,000 menstrual products to fight period poverty

People in Northern BC can tackle period poverty from May 27 to June 10 by giving financially or donating period products at their nearest collection site.
Integris Credit Union was part of the UWNBC Period Promise 2021 campaign.

Period poverty is more common than most people realize. At least half of people who menstruate will struggle with access to products at some point in their lives - this could mean missing a job interview or an important community event, limiting one's access to opportunities and overall quality of life and health.

United Way of Northern B.C.'s 2022 Period Promise campaign, presented by LiUNA Local 1611, offers a solution: people in Northern BC can tackle period poverty from May 27 to June 10 by giving financially or donating period products at their nearest collection site.

We will all need to come together to reach our goal of collecting 100,000 products for those in need in your local community. This goal can be achieved through a combination of financial and product donations.

According to United Way's research:

• 26% of people who menstruate in BC say that they had gone through a period without having menstrual products available to them

• 13% of people who menstruate in BC say that, as dependents, their families had not been able to afford menstrual products on their behalf

• 30% of people say that they haven't known where to access menstrual products they could afford when their period has hit

One report respondent said, "Having a fear of bleeding through your pants and not being able to participate severely impacts my mental health. As I am already a person with a disability and living on a budget, having to save money for these supplies is very cost consuming."

Further, the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation have served to exacerbate period poverty in the province as over 50% of United Way's community partners indicated an increase in demand for their services because of COVID, and nearly 45% of them indicated an increased demand for free menstrual products at their organization. UWNBC's Period Promise campaign aims to fill that gap by collecting products that help strengthen vital connections in the community.

“In 2021, we started the Period Promise initiative in Northern BC to great success, but this year, we have grown the campaign exponentially, reaching 11 communities and more than 51 collection sites. We are thrilled at the response to raise awareness and collect the needed resources through this important campaign! We are so grateful for all our partners in Northern BC for committing to the cause and working locally to make a difference right where they live, work, and play," says Trista Spencer, Executive Director, United Way of Northern BC. “A special thank you to LiUNA Local 1611 for their sponsorship, and Modern Match Lingerie in Prince George for helping us kick off the campaign with gusto!”

“LIUNA Local 1611 is proud to be a sponsor and support the Northern BC United Way’s Period Promise. Menstruation is a biological process, affording and accessing period products should not be an issue. Local 1611 supports the efforts of Period Promise to promote gender inclusivity; to remove barriers such as workplace period product access and financial hardships known as 'Period Poverty'; as well as removing the stigma surrounding menstruation, says Nav Malhotra, LIUNA Local 1611 Business Manager/Secretary-Treasurer. “Change comes from communities working together. We thank everyone for supporting this campaign and contributing to the change.”