NDP MLAs say grant will help eliminate period poverty in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

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MAPLE RIDGE – New Democrat MLAs Lisa Beare and Bob D’Eith 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.

“Everyone who menstruates needs access to menstruation products, no matter their income. This funding will allow the Family Education and Support Centre to research the best ways to provide free products to community members in need, with a focus on newcomers and culturally-appropriate menstrual products,” said Lisa Beare, MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows.

In Maple Ridge, the Family Education and Support Centre is receiving a grant for $17,500 to conduct a research project examining menstrual product usage of newcomers, refugees, immigrants and youth and to provide free menstrual products that are culturally safe.

“We know that people across B.C. are experiencing rising costs on many items, and nobody should ever have to go without safe and appropriate menstrual products. Our government is providing funding to organizations across the province to help people access free menstrual products, and to work towards ending period poverty,” said Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission.

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.

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.