A group of local women want to make sure everyone who needs pads and tampons can access them for free.
RBC and the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta have awarded Hailey McCullough and her team at the Grande Prairie Public Library, $15,000 for Project Full Stop, which would see the library offer menstrual hygiene products for free.
McCullough is one of the project leads and says the number of people who can’t afford these products is shocking.
“One-third of individuals under the age of 25 say they struggle to afford menstrual products. That’s a lot of people that are prevented from doing things like going to school or going to work or attending social events because they don’t have the proper products that they need.”
The grant is coming from the RBC Future Launch program which is open to youth ages 15 to 29. The goal is to have young people start projects in their city that tackle things like health, hunger or homelessness.
McCullough says the grant money will go towards pad and tampon dispensers that will be installed in the men’s and women’s washrooms at the library as well as some reading materials that she hopes will help break some of the stigma surrounding periods.
“We almost feel uncomfortable saying it and I think we need to get away from that because so many people experience periods. I think it’s important to stand up and say, ‘hey, I have a period, I need products for it.'”
“We don’t charge people for toilet paper when they use a public washroom why would we charge them for pads or tampons?” she adds.
McCullough says it’s unknown when the dispensers will come in but they plan to have products on hand in the coming weeks.