The distribution of menstrual products to students “an incredible step forward”

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A co-leader of a Sault Ste. Marie, who collects menstrual products to distribute to women in need, calls for a new partnership between the Government of Ontario and Shoppers Drug Mart to ensure that students do not miss school during their period “a step forward incredible ”and that she hopes to be“ long-lasting. ”

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Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced last Friday that the province is partnering with Shoppers to distribute 18 million free towels over three years to 72 school boards across Ontario, including the Algoma District School Board and the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board.

Too often young students, and girls in particular, suffer in silence because this problem may not be one that they are comfortable identifying or talking about, ”Lecce said. He called access to menstrual products a “fundamental issue of health and safety education”.

Twelve hundred distributors will also be made available to advertising agencies this fall.

Menstrual poverty is real and it is happening in our community, ”Jami DellaVedova of The Period Purse said in an email to The Sault Star. “Menstrual products are not a luxury and should not be treated as such. No period should have to miss school due to inability to purchase menstrual products and that should solve the problem.

The Algoma District School Board has “many” school programs that make menstrual products available to students, Education Superintendent Joe Maurice said in an email.

We had started surveying schools over the summer to find out how many schools had made menstrual products available to students and had started working on creating a board-wide program to help schools with support their existing programs, ”he said.

The English-speaking public council had also started discussions with students and student Senate staff officials on how to improve existing programs. The ADSB is still reviewing the government’s announcement, made at a Shoppers Drug Mart store in Yorkdale Mall in Toronto. Mauritius plans that the distributors assigned to the board will be based on sites that cater for students in grades 7 to 12.

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(Friday’s) announcement will help us in the work we have started and help provide better access to menstrual products to all female students, ”said Maurice.

Keith Baybayon, president of the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association, said making menstrual supplies available to students was a priority.

This is a problem that had to be solved a long time ago, ”he said during the online announcement. “Seeing these products distributed in our schools allows our students to feel safer and more integrated within their school community. ”

Lecce said Friday’s announcement was the “first phase” of her period support.

We hope to continue it, develop it and build on the good work we have done today to support women and girls in Ontario, ”he said.

Shoppers Drug Mart is partnering with Kimberly-Clark and Proctor & Gamble to make products available for free.

Our hope is that this partnership will be sustainable and we look forward to seeing the positive impact of this on our communities for years to come, ”said DellaVedova.

British Columbia, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia offer similar programs.

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On Twitter: @Saultreporter


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