Menstrual products will be free and accessible to women and girls in Columbus recreation centers and homeless shelters.
Columbus City Council member Elizabeth Brown says it’s a basic common sense issue.
"Is there any restroom outside your own home where you are expected to bring your own roll of toilet paper, or your own soap? I can't think of one. And yet there is a nearly ubiquitous expectation for women to supply their own tampons and pads, despite the fact that a woman's period is a bodily function as normal as any other. On an errand, in a meeting, or in school, being caught without an accessible tampon or pad derails thousands of women every day. A national study commissioned by Free The Tampon found that 86% of women have been caught without menstrual products when they needed them. For an adolescent, the experience can lead to insecurity, embarrassment and sometimes shame. For the most vulnerable populations, like homeless women, the $7-10 dollars you need to spend for a box of tampons competes with the critical costs of supporting a family."
Brown says free tampons and pads are available in Douglass, Driving Park, Glenwood and Linden recreation centers - and will soon be available in all 29 centers. Brown estimates the cost of the effort to be $3,000-$5,000 annually. Feminine care company LOLA is donating 60,000 products to the city’s homeless shelters.