Working with the Ontario’s Ministry of Education, Shoppers Drug Mart in partnership with Always & U by Kotex Canada will provide 18 million period products to public schools
On Friday, Shoppers Drug Mart announced a new partnership with the Ontario government to make period products more accessible to high school students across Ontario. Over the next three years, Shoppers will donate 18 million period products and 1,200 product dispensers to Ontario’s public schools.
“Period products shouldn’t be considered a luxury item for anyone. However, recent studies show that up to one-third of Canadian women have had to choose between buying a period product and an essential item on their grocery list,” said Jeff Leger, President, Shoppers Drug Mart. “This donation will provide thousands of students in Ontario with free access to period products, thousands who won’t have to make that difficult choice. We are proud to be a part of this initiative, and grateful to our stores, our partners, and our customers for their support.”
Shoppers Drug Mart will work with leading manufacturers, Procter & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark, to supply 6 million period products to school boards each year for the next three years.
“For more than 35 years, Always has been committed to creating positive social norms around menstruation and helping young people have access to the period products they need. That why since 2018, the Always End Period Poverty Program has donated over 3 million period products to students in Canadian schools. With over 200 million pads donated to young people around the world in the past 10 years, Always is truly making a difference,” said Liz Dubejsky, Brand Director Always Canada. “Together, we can help #EndPeriodPoverty and create a country where no student has to miss school because of lack of access to period protection.”
“U by Kotex® Canada believes no woman should have to miss school or work because of a period, and we’re proud to work with Shoppers Drug Mart to help fight period poverty in schools throughout Ontario,” said Brian Clayton, Senior Director of Marketing for U by Kotex Canada. “We look forward to shedding light on the consequences the lack of access to period products can have on the lives of individuals, and inspire others to take action to help fight period poverty in their communities.”
The partnership with the Ontario government is part of a long-term commitment by Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. through its LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart initiative to raise awareness and create action against period poverty in Canada.
“Through the strong advocacy of young leaders in our schools, it has become extremely clear that menstrual products are a necessity, not a luxury,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “This agreement will help remove barriers for women and girls by allowing them to access products at school, free of charge. It is another important way that we are helping to build more inclusive schools that empowers all girls to have the confidence to succeed.”
“Our government is committed to reducing stigma and removing barriers that prevent women and girls from achieving their full potential,” said Jane McKenna, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues. “Ensuring that menstrual products are free and readily available to students who need them will help create more equitable environments in our schools.”
Since 2011, the LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart program has supported women’s health, including initiatives focused on helping women facing period poverty such as: product donations, local campaigns like Tampon Tuesday, making period product dispensers available to homeless women in Toronto, and strategic collaborations with partners like Food Banks Canada. To learn more about Shopper’s initiatives, visit http://shoppersdrugmart.ca/periodpoverty.