The holiday season is the best time of the year to give back to the community, and with that in mind, Toronto is planning something special to help those in need.
Shoppers Drug Mart may soon be offering free menstrual products at two Toronto locations. This initiative is a part of a pilot program launched in 2018 and aimed at helping low-income women and girls in Toronto.
Women can access free menstrual hygiene products, which include tampons and pads, through red box-style dispensers set outside Shoppers Drug Mart stores.
The dispensers will reportedly be located at 465 Yonge Street and at 524 Queen Street West, near Bathurst St.
According to The Star, the products will be accessible by a four-digit pin code, which will be distributed to women using the shelter system or accessing additional support services across the city.
“For those who are economically marginalized, access to these products can come at great expense or sacrifice. The Shoppers Drug Mart project is just one way that our communities are finding ways to help provide those in need with dignity,” states a Member Motion by Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam.
Based on a survey conducted by Plan International, one-third of Canadian women under 25 can’t afford basic hygiene products.
“For women and girls living on the margins, buying tampons and pads could mean giving up food or other necessities. Some rig their own supplies, risking health problems by using socks, toilet paper and newspapers,” reports the Star.
Taking that into account, Wong-Tam also suggested making free pads and tampons available in public washrooms across the city, along with toilet paper.
Featured image: Flickr