An event in Tampa to distribute hygiene products highlighted differences in the environment and health

Defenders of underserved color communities hosted the first Banco de Mujeres in Tampa last weekend. The event, which was a success in Kissimmee, provided free hygiene products.

About 200 families passed through the tents in front of the Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church in Tampa as services ended on Saturday afternoon.

Chispa Florida, an environmental justice organization, distributes environmentally friendly and non-toxic menstrual products, along with diapers for babies and adults and disinfectant wipes.

“We know we live in an age where everything is so expensive,” said Crisis Lopez Arce, Chispa Florida’s communications manager based in Central Florida. “It is very important for us that women have access to hygiene products and that is why we are here.”

Jessica Mesaros

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WUSF social media

Chispa Florida offered non-toxic and sustainable hygiene products, including a reusable menstrual cup (not pictured).

Erica Diniz de Oliveira took two packs of diapers, which she said will last a few weeks for her one-year-old son.

She moved to Tampa from Brazil three years ago and said in Portuguese that prices have been rising since her arrival.

“Either way, it’s expensive, but especially for recent immigrants,” she said, referring to the large Brazilian community in Tampa. “The exchange rate and the currency make it very difficult and they are also unemployed.”

Oliveira also has a 7-year-old son and learned something new during Chispa Florida’s talk of diesel versus electric school buses.

Members of the organization collected signatures for petitions to bring clean buses to Hillsborough, Orange, Oceola, Volusia, Palm Beach and Miami Dade counties.

Getulio Gonzalez-Mulattieri, of Tampa-based Chispa Florida, said he has been campaigning for clean buses in Hillsborough for about a year.

He said the county had actually purchased 218 vehicles, but they were not working due to a lack of charging stations.

“We want to get more and we want to make sure that Latin American and black communities also have access to these electric buses,” he said. “The Latin American and black community suffers the most from poor air quality. They bear the brunt of environmental injustice and climate change.”

About 50 people signed the petition on Saturday. The total number of signatures from across the state was not available on the day of the event.

A green tent that says

Jessica Mesaros

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WUSF social media

Back on May 20youThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced its historic billion-dollar clean school bus program.

The agency said on its website that through funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, the program will provide $ 5 billion over the next five years to replace existing school buses with zero- and low-emission models.

EPA is offering $ 500 million through 2022 clean school bus discounts for zero and low emission school bus discounts as a first funding opportunity and the application process is open.

“Electric school buses are the only zero-emission alternative to diesel school buses that emit toxic pollutants that harm children’s health and may even affect their academic performance,” said Maria Reveles, Chispa Florida’s program director, in a press release. .

“We are excited to see this opportunity for federal funding and call on all Florida school districts to apply for the Clean School Bus Program to bring electric school buses to our state. We cannot miss this opportunity to clean the air for our communities. “

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