Period Poverty: Even Here. Period.

Have you ever had to choose between buying tampons and putting food on the table?

A melting red popsicle on a tan background surrounded by text reading "have you ever had to choose between buying tampons and putting food on the table?"

I have.

I'm fortunate not to have been (that) poor in over year, but countless people across the country aren't so lucky.

In Toronto alone, there are over 22,000 vulnerable people in need of menstrual products and one-third of menstruators under the age of 25 have struggled to afford menstrual products in Canada [source].

We often think of this as something that happens to other people, far from our own backyard, but Period Poverty happens to women, trans, and nonbinary people in Toronto, Canada, and across North America. 

It's probably affected someone you know. 

Case in point: Last Saturday, people rallied across USA (and in 3 other countries) for the first annual National Period Day. Their demands: freely accessible period products in schools, shelters and prisons for anyone (of any gender) who menstruates, and no more taxes on period products in any of the 35 states that continue to tax these products.

So how can you help end period poverty?

♥️ Use inclusive language. They're not feminine products; they're menstrual products. They're not women who menstruate; they're people who menstruate (unless you're specifically talking about a group of people who you 100% know are women!) Leaving people out of the conversation just makes the situation worse.

♥️ Host a period party of your own, or donate any of these items to The Period Purse at these locations in Ontario (or find an LGBTQ shelter, women's shelter, community shelter, or other organization local to you).

♥️ Always have extra menstrual products at home and in your bag, and be a safe person others can go to if they need a pad or tampon.

♥️ On a similar note: Demonstrate that you're a comfortable, nonjudgmental person to talk to about periods (as long as this doesn't trigger you-- some people with PCOS, gender dysphoria, etc may not be able to do this, and that's okay!). Share articles about menstrual health, casually mention something you've recently tried for your PMS and how much it helps, or that chocolate and tampons were both on sale at the drugstore this week. Let people know they can come to you if they need help; There's no shame in talking about periods. 

How are you doing your part to end Period Poverty?

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