Some of the most requested items at local food banks and shelters are menstrual products – which are also some of the least donated items.
That’s why the United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) has partnered with local labour partners and Queen’s University, along with Bell Media, the national Tampon Tuesday partner, for the first ever Tampon Tuesday collection drive in the area, following International Women’s Week.
Beginning Tuesday, Mar. 2, and running until Thursday, Mar. 12, 2020, community members are encouraged to donate pads, tampons, liners, and other menstrual hygiene products through the collection drive. The drive aims to fill the gap for those in the KFL&A region in need of such products, and there are a number of different ways those in the community can help out.
“We know that feminine hygiene products are among the most requested items at local food banks and shelters, but the least donated,” Bhavana Varma, President and CEO of United Way KFL&A, said in a statement. “There are women who are vulnerable, with diverse needs when it comes to menstrual hygiene in our community, and many are eager to help – this is an opportunity to do just that and hopefully this is the first of many Tampon Tuesday events in our area.”
The Tampon Tuesday program was started in London, Ont. in 2009, and continues to grow as an opportunity to collect products for people in poverty. The program celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2019, and now has over 40 communities participating.
For those wanting to help the cause, donations will be collected at the following locations.
United Way KFL&A office, 417 Bagot Street: Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
United Steelworkers, Local 2010, 154 Albert Street (2nd floor): Monday to Friday from 3 to 5 p.m.
Secura Financial, 1375 Gardiners Road: Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Energetics Health and Fitness, 631 Fortune Crescent, Unit 11 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Lennox & Addington Youth Hub, 41 Dundas Street, Napanee: Monday to Friday from 3 to 6 p.m.
Products can also be donated through an Amazon wishlist and monetary donations can be made online. Community members can also contact the United Way KFL&A office at 613.542.2674 or at [email protected] if none of the above options or locations work and a pickup or drop off can be arranged.
Additionally, Bell Media and the Egg Farmers of Ontario will also host a special Tampon Tuesday event on Tuesday, March 10th from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Grizzly Grill in Kingston. Featuring food, refreshments and interesting speakers, guests are asked to bring one box of menstrual hygiene products that will go towards the United Way KFL&A donation drive as admission.
Following both the donation drive and event, products will be sorted by volunteers and distributed to various agencies in the community including:
- Lunch by George
- Kingston & L&A Interval Houses
- Local shelters
- Food banks
- Dawn House
- Pathways to Education
- Kingston Community Health Centre
- HIV/AIDS Regional Services
- Street Health
- Elizabeth Fry Society of Kingston