Tampon Tuesday is an initiative that collects donations of menstrual hygiene products for women in need.

The idea started in London, England 10 years ago. This marks the second year it is being held in Regina by United Way.

“Sadly, there are women in our community that just don’t have access. Girls are missing school right here in Regina because of this,” Amanda Lanoway, associate director of engagement with United Way Regina, said.

Tampon Tuesday launched on Tuesday, and donations are being collected until Friday, which is also International Women’s Day. Donations can be dropped off at United Way Regina, En Vogue Day Spa, Shoppers Drug Mart in the Cornwall Centre and Pasqua Hospital.

“If we can help restore some dignity to some women right here in Regina, that’s what these products are going to do,” Lanoway said.

The YWCA Regina sees women every day asking for menstrual health products. But Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen, the CEO of YWCA Regina, said the products don’t even hit the supply shelves before they’re claimed.

“They are always on our top five things that are needed. They’re the things that go first,” Coomber-Bendtsen said.

YWCA and Planned Parenthood Regina both said the price of menstrual hygiene products should be lower – if not free.

“As women, this is the kind of thing that should be covered for us,” Jacqui Wasacase, executive director of Planned Parenthood Regina, said. “For a lot of women, the choice is ‘do we look after ourselves during our menstruation period once a month, or do we feed our family?’”

Coomber-Benson said fundamental needs, like menstrual hygiene products, can keep someone in poverty by hindering their opportunity to enter the work force.

“I think it would be a very wise decision to supply some of those supplies free of cost,” Coomber-Bendtsen said. “And also make them readily available.”

Donations can be made all year round at shelters and food banks in Regina.