United Way Central Alberta has launched their Period Promise campaign and will be tackling period poverty during the month of May. They are encouraging local organizations fight period poverty by giving financially, donating menstrual products, or organizing their own Period Promise campaign.

With the pandemic underway, it may be more challenging for those who menstruate to afford the products that help them go about their everyday life. Employment challenges may cause further ‘period poverty’ in the community.

 “It’s when individuals who menstruate don't have access to the menstrual hygiene products that they require. It limits their ability to participate in things like school or it might impact their ability to participate in work or social functions due to the lack of the ability to afford those products,” explained CEO of United Way Central Alberta, Brett Speight.

The ‘Period Promise’ was started by Central Alberta Sorroptimists who hope to provide free menstrual products in local schools. A $27,000 pilot project is underway for Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School, Eastview Middle School, Normandeau School and G.H. Dawe School. The United Way has partnered with the organization to expand the initiative even further.

“We're sending information out to our supporters, donors, and others and trying to get as much of the word out as possible to not only drive donations for products and monetary donations to purchase products, but we're also actually connecting with businesses and having conversations with businesses about signing onto the Period Promise. It's a two-year agreement for a business to actually provide free menstrual hygiene products in their business to staff or customers, or both,” explained Speight.

Already, Cilantro and Chive in Lacombe and Red Deer has donated $1,000 to the campaign and announced that they have signed onto the Period Promise.

“We're really excited to see the uptake and we're excited that businesses are coming forward to us and wanting to get involved,” he added.

In a couple of weeks, Speight says the organizations will be announcing the businesses that have signed onto the period promise. Additionally, they are encouraging menstrual product donations for several non-profit organizations to help alleviate period poverty Central Alberta's most vulnerable populations. 

For more information, on how you can get involved in the Period Promise campaign, click here.