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New project aims to give free period product to vulnerable women and girls

The provincial government is investing $95,000 over the next year to make it easier and more affordable for women to access menstrual products.

The funding will support the United Way Period Promise research project. They will distribute the funds to organizations throughout the province, including the Prince George Sexual Assault Centre Society.

Bernie Goold, a member of the Board of Directors for the St. Vincent De Paul Society, said when it comes to helping the homeless, hygiene products like pads and tampons are often overlooked.

“You don’t carry your products around with you, and quite often we are asked. We do hygiene packages for such times as that, but it’s hard to have to come in and ask for your tampons or feminine products.”

Goold said an added challenge is that homeless people have everything they own with them, so besides the high cost, the bulky packaging makes it difficult for women to carry.

According to a 2016 study on Canada’s homeless population, over 64,000 of them are women with the majority of them being under the age of 55 years old.

“It’s a necessity for all females at a certain stage in their life, and it would be nice if there were a surplus to give out to people when they need them and more awareness as to where they can get them.”

The project will also track information about how period poverty is affecting women and girls to help the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction develop a solution.

“So many of us who work and are able to purchase our own products don’t think about the need for those that are really struggling with poverty,” said Goold.

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