An initiative to ensure everyone across the province has access to essential menstrual care will be making a big impact on the southwest. 

The Chinook School Division has received a generous donation of 130,000 menstrual products from the Shoppers Foundation in collaboration with the provincial government.

Deputy Director of the school division, Kathy Robson, said this initiative will greatly impact their students. 

"We've always had menstrual products available to our students, but never on this level," she said. "I think it will really allow our schools to address if there's any additional needs that they weren't able to meet, they'll really be able to meet those needs for students and families."

Over the past couple of weeks, the school division has dispatched the products to its various schools, where they will be made available to students free of charge. The three-year project promises ongoing support from Shoppers Drug Mart.

Robson noted that the impact of this initiative extends beyond the school premises; the initiative encouraged recipients to provide support where required, including students' homes.

In a release issued to southwest families, Chinook promised the distribution of menstrual products to students will reduce stigma, include gender sensitivity and cultural appropriateness.

"Each school is in the process of determining what's the best way to distribute the products to their students and families," said Robson. "We've asked schools to make the products available to students in a way that respects their privacy and also allows them to easily access the products without a lot of difficulty. We're kind of leaving it up to the schools with those guidelines to then determine the best way to get the products to the students and family."

The Shoppers Foundation partnership with the Government of Saskatchewan has provided 12 million menstrual products across the province to various agencies and school divisions.