Period Promise campaign tackles period poverty amidst rising inflation

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

United Way British Columbia’s Period Promise campaign, presented by Pacific Blue Cross, is rallying support to fight period poverty by matching last year’s collection record of over 700,000 menstrual products.

It's always pricey to have your period, but with the rising cost of living, it's more expensive than ever before. United Way BC’s Period Promise campaign presented by Pacific Blue Cross, is offering a solution: British Columbians can tackle period poverty from May 16 to June 13 by making financial contributions, donating period products or organizing their own Period Promise campaigns.

At least half of people who menstruate will struggle with access to products at some point in their lives – and with the rising costs of basic goods, this amount is increasing. According to Statistics Canada's Consumer Price Index, the cost of personal care items like tampons and pads is up 6.2% compared to last year. This means a surging number of British Columbians who menstruate are struggling to keep up with cost increases and are falling short of affording menstrual products.

“United Way BC has led a remarkable effort to draw attention to the impact of not having adequate access to menstrual products,” says Rob Chiarello, SVP, People and Culture at Pacific Blue Cross. “As the cost of living continues to rise and inflation impacts essential items, including basic hygiene supplies, supporting this year’s Period Promise campaign is more important than ever. Together, we can make a meaningful and tangible contribution towards building healthy communities and improving the health and wellbeing of British Columbians.”

Pacific Blue Cross, in partnership with CUPE Local 1816, joined the cause as Presenting Sponsor in 2019 and the Government of BC committed to both free menstrual products in schools as well as partnered with United Way on an important research project on period poverty in our province.

In addition to organizing collection campaigns, workplaces can also sign the Period Promise Policy Agreement to commit to supplying free menstrual products in public washrooms.

Those wanting to contribute to Period Promise can donate, find local volunteer opportunities or help spread the word.