Ontario is partnering to offer free menstrual products at schools

Lecce said Ontario is joining British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island to take the step to fight poverty during the period

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TORONTO – Ontario and Shoppers Drug Mart enter into partnership to distribute free menstrual products in schools.

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Education Minister Stephen Lecce said it is an important step for students’ health and safety.

“Menstrual products are obviously a necessity, not a luxury,” he said Friday.

“For women and girls, it is crucial for their health and successful participation in school to ensure that they have access to these products. But the reality is that some students cannot afford or access them, and that creates barriers. ”

Lecce said Ontario is joining British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island to take the step to fight poverty during the period.

Six million free menstrual products a year will be delivered to school boards, which then decide how they are distributed within their local schools.

Shoppers Drug Mart donates all the pillows – Lecce said tampons are not part of the program at the moment.

Keith Baybaylon, president of the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association, says menstruation is a human rights issue and the announcement will help students feel more included in society.

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“No student should have to worry about whether or not they have access to products,” he said.

“They already have so much on their plates, and the lack of access should not be a burden to them.”

The NDP welcomed the announcement, but said it should have come earlier and should have included tampons and menstrual cups.

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