NDP MLAs say grant will help eliminate period poverty in Burnaby

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BURNABY – New Democrat MLAs Anne Kang, Janet Routledge, Katrina Chen and Raj Chouhan say grant funding for a local community organization will help reduce inequality while tackling period poverty – a term which refers to the struggle many low-income people face to afford menstrual products.

“Ending period poverty doesn’t have a single solution – it has many,” says Anne Kang, MLA for Burnaby-Deer Lake. “By investing in research initiatives like this one, we can better understand how period poverty impacts different communities, and make changes that have long-term results for people.”

In Burnaby, The Youth Alliance for Intersectional Justice (YAIJ) is receiving $20,000 for a research project collecting data around the challenges that Black and racialized neurodiverse people who menstruate with or without intellectual disabilities face accessing menstrual products.

“Periods are a natural part of life for many people, but unfortunately they can come with stigma, especially when you can’t afford the products you need,” says Janet Routledge, MLA for Burnaby North. “That is why our government is continuing our work to eliminate period poverty with the help of United Way and organizations like Youth Alliance for Intersectional Justice.”

Thanks to a provincial grant announced last May, United Way BC has distributed $220,000 to ten pilot projects designed to end period poverty by improving access to free menstrual products. The projects will use different methods and strategies to distribute period products. They’ll also study the underlying causes of period poverty, and identify ways to reduce stigma and shame around menstruation.

“People should not have to suffer in silence because they can’t afford menstrual products,” Katrina Chen, MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed. “I’m grateful for the work of United Way and organizations who are dedicated to eliminating period poverty by advancing research and making menstrual products more accessible in ways that are culturally-sensitive.”

The organizations and projects receiving funding were determined by United Way BC, who have been working with the provincial government since 2019 on period poverty initiatives, including the Period Poverty Taskforce.


“With the help of United Way and other organizations, we are making strides towards ending period poverty,” says Raj Chouhan, MLA for Burnaby-Edmonds. “I have heard about the positive impacts this work has on people across B.C., and look forward to this work continuing.”

Learn More: https://news.gov.bc.ca/28106