Periods are a part of life, maybe not directly for all people, but approximately half deal with a subject often considered more of a taboo to talk about, which unfortunately presents a great challenge for underprivileged women, who may not have access to feminine hygiene products.
This is where Tampon Tuesday comes in, to help women in poverty by helping to provide them access to items of basic needs and comfort in life, something that may be taken for granted by many. Tuesday night saw members of the community gather at Cecil's with dozens upon dozens upon dozens of boxes of tampons and pads as donations.
“We want to ensure that all women have access to these needed products. This event is about empowering women, bringing the community together, helping each other out and just having an opportunity to learn and socialize together, in a relaxed and inclusive environment” said Katina Matheson, Community Coordinator, United Way Sudbury and Nipissing Districts.
The product-raising event started a couple weeks ago, spearheaded by United Way Sudbury and Nipissing Districts, with the feminine hygiene products being donated to the North Bay Food Bank and the Nipissing Transition House.
“It’s happened across the country,” Matheson said. “We really had no idea what amount of donations to expect—it being the first time in North Bay—but we definitely surpassed what we had hoped to accomplish.”
North Bay food bank manager, Amber Livingstone, and Patti Brindle of Nipissing Transition House were pleased with the donations, speaking to how important of a role they’d play in supporting low-income households in North Bay.
“In February, we had 400 women come through our doors at the Food Bank, of all ages, and sometimes it’s a single dad raising young ladies and this is something we don’t traditionally think of as a luxury item, but they are,” Livingstone said about feminine hygiene products. “Single parents are already struggling, even while on assistance and then there are households with three teenage daughters so you could need boxes every week.”
For the Transition House, it means they can supply women leaving to live on their own with one more necessity item, helping them at an already difficult time.
“I ask women how periods impact them financially,” Brindle said. “I’ve had women tell me they wish they weren’t women, a women who said she felt lucky about having a hysterectomy and another said she had to buy them one at a time from machines when she could and another say she had to use paper towels. This is an issue we just don’t talk about enough.