College Campaign to End Ongoing Menstrual Poverty
Medicine Hat College’s annual campaign to end menstrual poverty began Tuesday and will run through November 17.
The campaign was first launched seven years ago by MHC instructor Tara Williams, who became aware of the need for menstruation products after making several visits to the food bank and seeing a constant shortage of these products.
“When people are looking to pay rent and buy food and they are struggling to make ends meet, period products aren’t really at the top of the list to buy,” Williams told The News. .
“When people don’t have these products they use toilet paper, newspaper and / or folded socks… I can’t imagine having to use (these items) and go to work and trust myself to make a good job, ”she said.
In an effort to provide haters in need with the right products, Williams tasked his business marketing students with a campaign to end poverty. The campaign has grown into an annual event where Williams students team up with art and design students – led by Ian Richmond – to create a slogan and graphic for the campaign. The students organize it and then promote it.
This year’s slogan is “Bleed with Dignity”.
“Dignity is a big part of that, and you don’t feel a lot of dignity and self-worth when you can’t afford proper period products,” Williams said. “This (slogan) is really about empathy.
“Students have a limited income and budget and they absolutely can meet this need. ”
Even male students, Williams notes, are interested and involved in the subject.
“We often have the impression that the men will not follow through on this campaign and that they will not buy as much as the women, but… my male students are just as invested in this process as the female students. ”
“Last year, we collected just over 14,000 pounds of menstrual food equivalents, which allowed us to serve food bank customers as well as schools for an entire year,” said Williams. . The goal of this year’s campaign is to meet and hopefully exceed that amount.
Those interested in contributing to the campaign can donate unopened products to Mr. Lube on Kingsway Avenue, or make a financial donation through the Root Cellar and Wellness Hub (formerly Medicine Hat and District Food Bank) website. Just specify that the donation is for menstruation products. Tax receipts are available for anyone who provides their name and address.
Williams is also encouraging the Hatters to like and share the campaign online.
“There is such a stigma around menstruation that I think we have dissipated a bit over the years; but still, it’s totally normal and okay to have your period, so showing your support for that and showing that (menstrual poverty) is a real problem… is important. “