PEI

How 2 Island women are tackling period poverty on P.E.I.

Two Island women have started a group to collect and distribute menstrual products to people in need across P.E.I.

No Questions Asked Period is providing menstrual products to Islanders in need

Kassidy Arsenault, left, and Megan Beairsto started the non-profit group No Questions Asked Period to help people Island-wide access menstrual products. (Matt Rainnie/CBC)

Two Island women have started a group to collect and distribute menstrual products to people in need across P.E.I.

Megan Beairsto and Kassidy Arsenault were working at a Summerside, P.E.I. restaurant last summer when they began leaving a basket of things including menstrual products in the washroom for customers.

"We started stocking it with some tampons and some pads just to have that there. And then they started disappearing so quickly that we were just a little confused," Beairsto told Mainstreet P.E.I's Matt Rainnie.

That's when they realized there were many people in need, so they started a volunteer group called No Questions Asked Period at the end of last summer with the goal of providing menstrual products for people Island-wide.

"What we found was pretty astonishing, that one in three women struggle with period poverty and lack access to menstrual products."

Many follow on Facebook

Now, their Facebook group has grown to over 300 members.

No Questions Asked Period is a non-profit and all of the products are given by donation, or purchased using donated funds. People can reach them at the Facebook page and tell them there is a need and they will send them menstrual products no questions asked.

"We don't question, everyone is in need at some point," Arsenault said.

The group has been part of many fundraisers the last year. Recently, Arsenault spoke to Girl Guides, an organization she has been part of for 12 years, she said.

"They raised quite a bit of money and my mother who was there was sent home with a very large amount of tampons and pads for us."

Single mothers that have told me that they use their kids' diapers, they have to cut up a diaper from their child and that's absurd.— Megan Beairsto

The organization also drops off packages to schools because a lot of people in need of menstrual products are students and young mothers, Arsenault said.

Added benefit

The main goal was to help people access the products they need, but now the organization is seeing an added benefit, Beairsto said.

"What we found is there is a stigma kind of being broken down all the time, which is amazing. And a lot of schools have realized this."

Periods are not optional and menstrual products are not a luxury item, Arsenault said.

Bearisto said she hears from many Islanders in need.

"Single mothers that have told me that they use their kids' diapers, they have to cut up a diaper from their child and that's absurd."

More P.E.I. news

With files from Mainstreet P.E.I.

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