The Tri-Cities branch of an global women's group wants to mitigate period poverty in the region — and hopes the public can support the cause.
Soroptimist International is teaming up with United Way BC (UWBC) for a donation station in Coquitlam as part of a month-long campaign to collect more than 700,000 menstrual health products.
According to the non-profit group, 26 per cent of people who menstruate in B.C. say they experienced a period without having menstrual products available to them and 30 per cent don't know where they can access products they needed, but couldn't afford.
"Having the fear of bleeding through your pants and not being able to participate severely impacts my mental health," said an anonymous respondent in a UWBC release.
"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."
Last year, UWBC brought in nearly 559,000 products over four weeks, collected or purchased via financial contributions, from several locations in Metro Vancouver, including Port Coquitlam.
"Joining United Way’s Period Promise campaign is one way you can strengthen the community because it helps make sure nobody has to choose between buying food or menstrual products," Neal Adolph, one of the UWBC's Period Promise organizers.
"That choice has only become more common over the past year — with emergencies like the wildfires and the flood, and now with inflation on everyday goods increasing the cost of living for the most vulnerable people in our community."
On May 21, Soroptimist will be set up at Dennis' No Frills — located in Coquitlam's Como Lake Village (1916 Como Lake Ave.) — where interested residents can drop off hygiene products or cash donations.
Tri-City residents can visit the donation drop-off between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
If you can't make the event in person, you're encouraged to make a financial contribution online via UWBC's website before June 7.