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Two Hamilton students launch pop-up initiative for free menstrual products

In an effort to increase access to menstrual products for those who need them, two Hamilton students have launched an incredibly exciting and important initiative that brings those products to local communities for free.

McMaster University students Rita Audi and Meghna Varambally received a grant from TakingItGlobal’s RisingYouth program to design and launch what they call Period Pop-Ups: a community-run pop-up pantry of feminine hygiene products made available free of charge to Hamilton residents who menstruate and may face financial hardship.

“Period poverty is a greatly under-looked public health issue,” reads a quote on the Period Pop-Ups page on Facebook. “One third of Canadian menstruators under the age of 25 struggle to buy enough menstrual products each month.”

The pair is preparing to launch their first-ever pantry at the end of February at Dundurn Market, with plans to host pop-up pantries at a wide variety of Hamilton locales as time goes on.

Supplies have been purchased using the grant money, and the initiative otherwise runs with the help of community volunteers who will help facilitate and monitor the pop-up sites when they’re active.

This fantastic and deeply needed program complements a forthcoming City of Hamilton initiative which will also be providing menstrual products free of charge to those who need them through some of the city’s recreation centres.

To read more about Period Pop-Ups, check them out on Facebook.

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