Hamilton committee approves distribution plan for menstrual products for women in need

A 12-month pilot project, aimed at making menstrual products available for women in need in Hamilton, has received initial approval at city hall.

Members of the healthy and safe communities committee on Thursday afternoon voted 5-0 in favour of a two-pronged approach.

Menstrual products will be made available in women’s and universal washrooms within five recreation centres and the city will partner with Hamilton Food Share and local food banks to distribute the products through their network.

Coun. Sam Merulla said the pilot achieves their goal by focusing in on “those that need it the most.”

A staff report estimates the cost of the pilot project at $121,000. It still needs final approval at next week’s meeting of Hamilton City Council.

The healthy and safe communities committee has also been briefed about a pending shakeup within Hamilton’s emergency shelter system.

Paul Johnson, the city’s general manager of healthy and safe communities, says the Native Women’s Centre has announced its intention to stop operating 15 beds at its West Mountain location as soon as June 30.

Johnson says “it’s a decision of the organization to focus on other parts of their work”. He adds that it affects only the 15 beds that it operates “in conjunction with funding provided by the City of Hamilton.”

Johnson adds that a transition plan is being developed and he stresses that the city’s funding will be reallocated within the system ensuring no loss of shelter beds at the end of the process.


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