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Aug. 10, 2020 | Monday
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NOTL businesses aim to eliminate period poverty


Period products, such as pads, tampons and cups, are a basic necessity, that’s why United Way Niagara is organizing a new community-wide campaign this year to help provide free menstrual products to Niagara residents.

The campaign will run from March 3 to March 21.

A Canadian Gender Study, conducted by Plan International Canada in 2018, showed that 23 per cent of women and a third of women under 25 have struggled to afford menstrual products either for themselves or their dependants.

On average, Canadian women spend more than $6,000 on period products in their lifetime, according to the campaign's fact sheet.

During the three-week campaign, area residents can donate money or period products at numerous locations across the region.

In NOTL, menstrual products can be dropped off or picked up for free at Simpson’s Pharmasave on Niagara Stone Road and at Simpson’s Apothecary on King Street.

“It's a worthwhile venture to raise awareness about,” Simpson told The Lake Report. “Period products are tough to afford for women living in the poverty line, especially when they're trying to budget for food, rent and everything else."

Old Town’s Exchange Brewery has also joined the campaign.

In a collaborative effort, the team comprised of brewery's events co-ordinator Cathryn Doddington, marketing and PR co-ordinator Audrey Le Goff and tasting room manager Crystal Costa came up with a recipe of the featured cocktail of the month called Sangria, Period.

"I wanted to do a cocktail that was very female-centric. Made for women to support women," Doddington said. "It was my opportunity to use sangria as a beer cocktail. And obviously, I wanted it to be as red as possible."

By ordering the featured beer cocktail until March 21, the brewery will donate $1 from every purchased cocktail to the campaign. The drink costs $12 and includes Peppercorn Rye Saison beer and Niagara red wine with cherry and hibiscus simple syrup, orange juice and Amaretto. The brewery also accepts cash donations.

On top of collecting period products, United Way Niagara also encourages community organizations, elected representatives, union leaders and business owners to sign a Period Promise Policy committing to providing free menstrual hygiene products to anyone using their facilities.

Some of the community organizations and companies that have signed the policy include General Motors St. Catharines Propulsion Plant, Project SHARE, Town of Lincoln, UNIFOR 199, Women’s Place of South Niagara, YWCA Niagara Region and Pelham Cares.

“The choice between buying food or feminine hygiene products is a decision one should not have to make," Greg Brady, a president of Unifor Local 199, said in a statement.

The grand finale collection will take place on Saturday, March 21 at Seaway Mall in Welland.