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'Fill the Bus' fundraiser for menstrual products returns to Greater Victoria

A Fill the Bus campaign is pictured in Victoria in 2020. (CTV) A Fill the Bus campaign is pictured in Victoria in 2020. (CTV)

This weekend, United Way Southern Vancouver Island (UWSVI) will be accepting donations of new menstrual products in the hopes of filling a parked BC Transit bus.

The "Fill the Bus" event is part of UWSVI’s 2023 Period Promise campaign, which aims to increase access to free menstrual products for those who can’t afford them.

"Period poverty is one of those sort of hidden things in society," said UWSVI executive director Erika Stenson.

"People who menstruate, at least 50 per cent of our community, have gone through a period where they had a hard time getting access to product, and about 26 per cent of people have actually made it through a whole cycle without any product at all," she said.

Having to use menstrual products is part of life and people should not have to struggle to afford them, Stenson says.

"You can’t go to school, you can’t go to work, you have to make decisions whether to buy food or product, and it can really affect people’s lives who menstruate," she said.

UWSVI has held the event twice before, collecting thousands of tampons, pads and everything in between, including menstrual cups and reusable period underwear.

Donated products will be distributed through organization Soap for Hope to 40 local social service agencies throughout Greater Victoria.

Cash donations are also welcomed so that the United Way can help provide free menstrual products all year round for those in need.

Many organizations and companies have signed on to the Period Promise campaign, promising to provide free menstrual products to employees, students and clients.

The Fill the Bus event runs this Sunday, May 28, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Tillicum Centre, in front of Save-On-Foods.

Staff and volunteers will be on site to raise awareness, collect donations and answer questions around the issue.

For more information about period poverty, and the 2023 Period Promise campaign, visit the UWSVI website. Top Stories

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