The Steinbach Family Resource Centre could soon be distributing free menstrual products, thanks to a new program being offered by the provincial government.
On Friday, September 16th, the Manitoba Government announced that it has reached a deal with Shopper’s Drug Mart to provide 3.3 million tampons and pads each year for three years to schools, women’s shelters and resource centres across the province.
Jo-Anne Dalton, Executive Director at SFRC, says they are eager to participate in this program.
“This is one of the products that we get asked about all the time,” she says. “ ‘Where can we get some?’ ‘Where are they available?’ ‘Does anyone offer any program to support menstrual products in our region?’ And the answer is ‘no.’ Unfortunately, right now there is nothing happening in our region to support (this). We do get donations and we do get items from the community, from organizations, open packages get donated to us and the like.”
But Dalton says they cannot keep up with the demand for menstrual products.
"So, we're really excited about this grant and this program being announced and we'll be applying for that,” she says. “Because we're serving moms, new moms and postpartum moms, and these are incredibly expensive for families.”
Ever since the announcement was made, Dalton has been hunting for information on the application process to make sure local families get the support they need in this area.
Andrea Kirkness at Agape House says it is great to see the start of a program that will address this type of need and make sure menstrual products are distributed to appropriate locations.