You’re in­vited to a Pad Party

Feed Nova Sco­tia ini­tia­tive pro­vides men­strual prod­ucts for women, girls

South Shore Breaker - - Wheels - SUE DESCHENE sde­sch­[email protected]­link.ca

The Christ­mas sea­son re­minds us of the most im­por­tant gift of all: Help­ing one another. Food banks see an up­surge of do­na­tions dur­ing this time of re­newed gen­eros­ity.

When we think of mak­ing do­na­tions to lo­cal food banks, most of us think about do­nat­ing food. We of­ten for­get about the other ne­ces­si­ties of life.

For women and girls who have passed pu­berty, men­strual pads and tam­pons are a monthly need — and an ex­pen­sive one that many fam­i­lies can’t af­ford.

Ac­cord­ing to a 2018 sur­vey by Plan In­ter­na­tional Canada, onethird of Cana­dian women un­der the age of 25 say they have strug­gled to af­ford men­strual prod­ucts. A 2018 Al­ways Con­fi­dence and Pu­berty Study re­ported that 1 in 7 girls in Canada have ei­ther left school early or missed Food banks here on the South Shore are al­ways look­ing for volunteers:

Shel­burne Loy­al­ist Food Bank: Open Wed­nes­days 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.. Lo­cated at 21 Anne St. in Shel­burne. (902) 875-3823.

Queens County Food Bank: Open Tues­days 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lo­cated at 108 Col­lege St. in Liver­pool. (902) 354-4894.

New Ger­many Area Food Bank: Open Wed­nes­days 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Lo­cated at 4960 Hwy. 10 in New Ger­many. (902) 644-3336.

Ma­hone Bay Area Food Bank As­so­ci­a­tion: Open 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the sec­ond and fourth Tues­day of each month. Lo­cated at 45 School St. in Ma­hone Bay. (902)

624-0890.

school en­tirely be­cause they don’t have what they need to man­age their pe­ri­ods.

With its Dig­nity.pe­riod. cam­paign, Feed Nova Sco­tia is invit­ing peo­ple across the prov­ince to host “pad par­ties” and col­lect do­na­tions of pe­riod prod­ucts to dis­trib­ute to Feed Nova Sco­tia’s 145 mem­ber food banks, meal pro­grams and shel­ters.

So how do “pad par­ties” work? Lunen­burg In­ter­church Food Bank: Open Tues­days 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Lo­cated at 283 Lin­coln St. in Lunen­burg. (902) 521-1078.

Light­house Food Bank So­ci­ety: Open Wed­nes­days 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Lo­cated at 101 Val­ley Rd. in Chester. (902) 275-5304.

Bridge­wa­ter In­ter­church Food Bank: Open Tues­days and Fri­days 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Lo­cated at 150 Churchill St. in Bridge­wa­ter. (902) 543-1915.

Yar­mouth Food Bank: Open Tues­days to 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Lo­cated at 2 Her­bert St. in Yar­mouth. (902) 742-0918.

Peo­ple in­vite friends, neigh­bours and co-work­ers to get to­gether and ask them to bring tam­pons and pads, which will then be do­nated to a lo­cal food bank.

Pat de­moli­tor, who chairs the Shel­burne Loy­al­ist Food Bank’s board of di­rec­tors, plans to host a pad party in Jan­uary af­ter the hol­i­day fes­tiv­i­ties have wound down. She wants to do what she can to shine a light on this un­der- sup­ported need.

“I can’t imag­ine what fam­i­lies do when they have more than one fe­male child in the fam­ily,” de­Moli­tor says. “Some­times you can pick and choose what you can put money to­ward. But this is not some­thing you can do with­out.

It’s not talked about, but it’s im- por­tant. It has to do with a woman’s self-es­teem.”

When it comes to food bank do­na­tions, de­moli­tor says men­strual prod­ucts are of­ten for­got­ten.

“We’re quick to think about food. We’re less quick to think about the other ne­ces­si­ties of life, like fem­i­nine hy­giene prod­ucts, toi­let pa­per, tooth­paste, tooth­brushes and de­odor­ant,” says de­moli­tor. “But peo­ple need those things, too.”

The Dig­nity.pe­riod. cam­paign runs through Dec. 15, but peo­ple can host a pad party any­time. Food banks wel­come do­na­tions of men­strual prod­ucts year-round.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit Feed Nova Sco­tia at www.feed­no­vas­co­tia.ca/blog/dig­nity-pe­riod, e-mail dig­ni­type­r­i­od­cam­[email protected], or visit their Face­book page (www.face­book.com/dig­ni­type­r­i­od­cam­paign).

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