Bleed the North (formerly PERIOD Ontario) was founded by Isabela Rittinger in March 2020, at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown. Due to the stockpiling of period products in grocery stores during that time, the widespread effects of period poverty for individuals across Ontario was exacerbated by pandemic induced panic-buying, which further motivated Isabela to push for better access to period products.
With newfound spare time but longtime passion for menstrual equity, Isabela got to work in connecting with other like-minded individuals to work on this project. They quickly sensed interest and motivation from the community to help end period poverty and period stigma, leading the organization to expand from Durham Region to Ontario in May.
Since then, the Bleed the North team has been working tirelessly to provide period products to shelters across the province, advocating for menstrual legislation in Ontario parliament and developing virtual educational campaigns.
We are committed to ending period poverty and stigma by providing menstrual products to people in need across Ontario. We hope to educate our community on the dangers of period poverty and work to promote menstrual legislation in Canadian politics. We promise to see the ways in which menstruators are affected by their periods and learn from those who experience menstruation and period poverty in all of its complexity, together.
Our vision is a world in which no menstruator has to choose between putting food on the table or having a clean and healthy period. A world in which everyone, regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic status, has access to period products without being financially burdened. A world in which having a period is not gendered and considered “a woman’s issue”. A world where “period” is not a dirty word.
Our Commitment to Sustainability
We here at Bleed the North acknowledge the immense amount of waste generated by menstrual products, and recognize the need for more sustainable alternatives. As such, we promise to move forward into 2021 with a strong emphasis on sustainability—educating, advocating and empowering menstruators and non-menstruators alike to identify more eco-friendly menstrual products that are best suited for them.
Is this a non-profit organization?
Who is allowed to request period packs?
Anyone who needs them! If you are in need of a period pack (consisting of 7 tampons and 11 pads, which should last you a month), you can fill out our form. We don't need to know anything about your situation - all we ask is that you only request one if you need it.
Who donates the products?
We receive product donations through the generosity of our local community. Our Corporate Partners and Product Donation partners, alongside the Service Team, work together to create the packs.
How far can we distribute period packs?
As of now, we mainly operate in and around Southern Ontario, but we are working hard to ensure we can provide products to Northern communities. Stay tuned!
Does it cost money to request a period pack?
Absolutely not. If you need a period pack, you will recieve it for free.
Are products always available?
We always try to keep a couple packs on hand so that if there's someone in need, we have some available. The shelters get larger donations of packs, so they let us know in advance when they need more so we can plan accordingly.
How quickly can I receive products after requesting?
Once they have been requested, we try to get the packs out ASAP. All we have to do is find a driver who can deliver them and it's on the way!
How can I get involved?
You can visit our 'Contact' page to see the different volunteer opportunities we have to offer. You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or send us a message on any of our social platforms!
Frequently Asked Questions