City of Winnipeg providing free menstrual products in year-long pilot project

Free menstrual products are now available at some City of Winnipeg facilities as part of a year-long pilot project the city says aims to reduce the stigma and barriers around menstruation.

The pilot will make a “much-needed basic necessity” more easily accessible, the city said in a Friday news release.

City council approved $58,500 to support the year-long pilot, set to run through September 2023.

The city will track data and uptake over the year, “in hopes of continuing the program in the future and potentially expanding it to further ease access for all people in Winnipeg,” said Coun. Cindy Gilroy (Daniel McIntyre), the chair of the city’s property and development, heritage and downtown development committee. 

Access to and information about menstruation and menstrual hygiene products “is a basic human right,” Point Douglas Coun. Vivian Santos said in the city’s release, comparing the products to a basic necessity like toilet paper.

Products like tampons and pads can be prohibitively expensive, making “period poverty,” or the inability to afford the products, “a big concern in Canada,” Santos said.

The new city program will “at least start removing one of the many barriers that women and girls face today,” she said.

Free menstrual products are now accessible at the following facilities:

  • Millennium Library: 251 Donald St.
  • Fort Rouge Leisure Centre: 625 Osborne St.
  • Seven Oaks Pool: 444 Adsum Dr.
  • Freight House Recreation Centre/Central Community Centre: 200 Isabel St.
  • Elmwood Kildonan Pool: 909 Concordia Ave.
  • Turtle Island Neighbourhood Centre: 510 King St.
  • Margaret Grant Pool: 685 Dalhousie Dr.
  • Westdale Community Centre: 550 Dale Blvd.

The city also offers free menstrual products on request at the service desks of all Winnipeg Public Library locations. Those products are provided by the Winnipeg Public Library Board, the city’s news release said.

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