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United Way KFLA kicking off fifth annual Tampon Tuesday Donation Drive

During the month of March, United Way KFL&A will be collecting menstrual hygiene products for those in need as part of the Tampon Tuesday Donation Drive.

The grassroots movement began in London, Ontario in 2009 and has since spread in response to a need that is exhibited at shelters everywhere.

It’s the fifth annual collection in the region, aiming to address a particular gap in donations that food banks and shelters have identified for clients in need.

A release from the United Way says that while menstrual hygiene products like tampons, pads, and liners are among the most requested items at local food banks and shelters, they’re among the least donated.

Leigh Martins, Training, Education and Volunteer Coordinator at Kingston Interval House, said that the products are obviously a necessity for women, but that so many who are struggling find it extremely difficult to prioritize purchasing those items.

“Can you imagine worrying about buying a product that you need or buying food for your family? We see this with individuals at Interval House, struggling to make ends meet,” Martins said.

“Having these products donated by the United Way, allows us to give them the products they need so that they can use their money to buy other necessary items.”

According to data shared by United Way, 17% of Canadians have had to decide between a menstrual product or essential items from their grocery list, 1 in 5 have used period products for longer than they’re supposed to due to unaffordability, and in general 83% of people feel period products are too expensive.

United Way is working along with national partners like Bell Media and Shoppers Drug Mart as part of the Donation Drive with products being distributed to multiple partner agencies in the region.

Girls Inc. Limestone, one of the beneficiaries, said the drive has helped to dissolve an unfortunately common barrier for their clients.

“We are able to keep our bathrooms stocked, which gives our clients the opportunity to take what they need. It is one less necessity and financial burden they need to worry about,” a statement from the organization reads.

“Letting them focus all their energy on their goals and growth. We are more than grateful United Way continues to provide support like this to organizations like ours!”

For the entire month of March, products can be dropped off at the United Way KFL&A office on Bagot Street in Kingston, at any Starbucks location in Kingston, or at any Shoppers Drug Mart in Kingston, Amherstview and Napanee.

There is also a donation bin at the Cataraqui Centre until March 5.

The campaign has grown steadily on a yearly basis, with United Way KFL&A collecting over 134,000 products in the month of March 2023.

Owen Fullerton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Owen Fullerton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporterhttp://ygknews.ca
Born and raised in Whitby, Ontario, Owen has been living in Kingston for about three years after starting the band Willy Nilly. Prior to that he worked at CKLB radio in Yellowknife and completed studies in Niagara College's Broadcasting program.

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