A person using a menstrual product dispenser at uOttawa

Period Project Impact Report

Our vision is to ensure that every member of the University of Ottawa community has easy access to free, environmentally friendly menstrual products. We envision a free menstrual product dispenser in every building on campus.


The Period Project was first created in 2020 by a group of students as part of a Ventures project for an environmental studies course. Their project focused on increasing the environmental sustainability, and reducing the menstrual inequity and period poverty, of students at the University of Ottawa. It was clear that the University needed to take action to address these issues in the community.  

The students won the Ventures competition and proposed that the University initiate a pilot project, which began in November 2021. To date, seven dispensers have been installed in various washrooms across campus. Geographically dispersed locations were selected and the dispensers were installed in partnership with faculties that were keen to participate in the project.  

In addition to the dispensers, several partner groups have been distributing free menstrual products from their spaces, thus extending the network on campus. Thirteen students have volunteered over 225 hours to help regularly stock the dispensers and track product usage. 

Map of the locations of free menstrual products on campus
a student takes a menstrual product from a dispenser

Founding partners

Founding partners – groups that have provided financial resources to fund the implementation and operations of the project. 

A volunteer fills up a menstrual product dispenser

Organizing partners

Organizing partners – groups that have participated in consultations and provided human resources to continue the operations of the project. 

A community member holding some menstrual products

Hosting Partners

Hosting partners – groups that have agreed to host dispensers and public baskets in their spaces, as well as share information about the program.

First-year milestones

Order menstrual products
Products arrived in August 2021

Place dispensers in accessible and convenient locations
Locations finalized and dispensers installed in September 2021

Built volunteer group and trialed dispensers
Volunteers assembled in September 2021

Launch marketing campaign

  • Social media program continues
  • Website launched
  • Media covers the project in November 2021

Secure funding for next year
UOSU and Student Life agree to fund program for another year in May 2022

A person holds up a sample menstrual product

Since 2021, the Period Project has distributed over 13,000 menstrual products to University of Ottawa community members. 

Products are available from the seven dispensers located in several washrooms, as well as through four publicly accessible baskets managed by partner groups on campus.

A special partnership was also created with “The Period Purse” to offer free Diva Cups to community members on campus who are willing to take a short introductory session to learn how to properly use these products.

13,149 menstrual products distributed since the start of the program

Tampons distributed


Pads distributed


Reusable menstrual cups distributed

Goals for 2023

Spark more open conversations to change the current stigma surrounding periods

  • Host an event to bring awareness to period poverty 
  • Have a presence at Welcome Week 

Increase awareness of the program

  • Participate in a coordinated social media campaign 
  • Create a class presentation program to raise awareness 

Expand and maintain the network of dispensers

  • Monitor the current Aunt Flow dispensers and the improved model for previous operational problems
  • Monitor and track project costs to create full program budget
  • Onboard new project partners

Secure long-term funding for the program 

  • Develop partnerships with on-campus groups 
  • Work with the Development Office to explore funding opportunities