December 01, 2021
HAMILTON, ON: New Menstrual Products Pilot Project under way at local food banks
Hamilton Food Share announced the launch of its new Menstrual Products Pilot Project today, in partnership with the City of Hamilton and Hamilton’s Emergency Food Network. This one-year pilot project will distribute menstrual products to various food banks throughout the city, ensuring they are available to all food bank service users on a consistent basis.
The City of Hamilton will contract with Hamilton Food Share to leverage $91,000 into product to be distributed into the emergency food system over the next twelve months. While initially announced in February 2020, this project was put on hold to allow Hamilton Food Share and the emergency food system to develop a focused response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Operating for more than thirty years as the hub for Hamilton’s Emergency Food Network, with the capacity to receive, store and distribute large quantities of product, Hamilton Food Share was well positioned to operationalize this pilot project as an extension of its existing bulk purchasing and shipping and receiving operation. The Emergency Food Network within Hamilton processes almost 22,000 visits every month representing 12,613 unique individuals residing in over 5,000 households. This project will distribute menstrual products to over 3,000 individuals each month, with a target of 35,000 items distributed in the first year of operation. Every individual who identifies a need at their visit will receive the products they require.
“The city is pleased to support the Menstrual Product Pilot Project initiative and be responsive to the needs of those looking to access menstrual care products in our community. By removing barriers and creating easier access to essential products, community members have the option to access resources at variety food banks and at a time that suits them” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger
“Our objective is to launch, maintain and integrate this initiative into our daily operation. Our goal is to sustain it within a three-year period by developing a host of community supporters that will champion the cause in the form of financial grants and sponsorships to underwrite future purchases,” said Joanne Santucci, CEO of Hamilton Food Share. Additionally, Santucci stated they will be reaching out to product manufactures and suppliers to partner in this very important initiative. Today, Hamilton-based Tennier Sanitation is donating the equivalent of one months’ worth of menstrual products in support of the program launch.
“We are very excited to be helping Hamilton Food share launch this program,” says Darren Slemko, President of Tennier Sanitation, headquartered in Hamilton for more than eighty years. “No one should have to worry about whether they have access to menstrual care products. With our contribution and a matching donation from Hospeco’s Period Partner program, we’re hoping this donation will give food bank users some peace of mind.”
Santucci greeted Mr. Slemko and their truck at Hamilton Food Share’s warehouse on 339 Barton Street in Stoney Creek today at 10:30 am to offload the balance of the first product shipment for the project. Picture below.
“This project addresses a basic health issue, and our plan is to remove the barriers of affordability and access for people living in poverty. We thank the City of Hamilton for their leadership on this important initiative and their support in making it happen,” Santucci said.
For more information about this initiative please contact the following:
Community Relations Coordinator
Hamilton Food Share
Senior Communications Officer
City of Hamilton