VANCOUVER – New Democrat MLAs George Chow and Niki Sharma say grant funding for local community organizations will help reduce inequality while tackling period poverty – a term which refers to the struggle many low-income people face to afford menstrual products.
“Making menstrual products readily available, like other everyday personal care products we take for granted, is an important step in helping people fully participate in life,” said George Chow, MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview. “Our government knows that people should never miss out because of period poverty and I’m thrilled this grant will reduce barriers for the residents of Entre Nous Femmes Housing Society.”
In Vancouver the following organizations are receiving grants for period poverty pilot projects:
- Entre Nous Femmes Housing Society, $22,500.00
- First Nations Wellness Outreach Society, $25,000.00
- Pacific Immigrant Resources Society, $25,000.00
“No one should have to worry about having the money to buy products for a basic, human function like menstruation,” said Niki Sharma, MLA for Vancouver-Hastings. “By addressing period poverty and making resources more widely available for people, we are combatting stigma and increasing equity in our communities. This funding to the Pacific Immigrant Resources Society and First Nations Wellness Outreach Society will go far to make life better for so many in our community.”
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.