SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – The Salt Lake City Council is recognizing the costly expense of feminine hygiene products and is taking action by supplying certain city facilities with free hygiene products.
A budget of $20,000 will be set aside from the city’s 2019-20 General Fund budget as part of a one-year pilot program that will ensure city-owned facilities receive free women’s hygiene products.
“Pads or tampons are a necessity, not a luxury,” said council member Ana Valdemoros, one of three co-sponsors of the proposal. “I hope we draw attention from those in charge at schools and other public institutions in Utah to start thinking of similar policies.”
The council is encouraging the city library, airport, public facilities and golf clubs to do the same.
Council Chair Charlie Luke commended council members Erin Mendenhall, Amy Fowler and Ana Valdemoros for raising awareness to this “issue.”
“I’ve never understood why it is acceptable to charge women and girls for these products,” Luke said. “It’s time to end that practice, and Salt Lake City is the right place to do it.”
In a press release on Tuesday, the council wrote that some estimates suggest women who menstruate will spend as much as $1,800 on feminine hygiene products throughout their lives.
Some women have already chimed in.
“Absolutely. There’s nothing worse than starting your period somewhere to realize that you don’t have a tampon/pad and no quarters to buy one,” Facebook user Sydney Plant stated.
Aileen Cramer wrote, “Think…Use the bathroom with diarrhea and there’s no toilet tissue. Would available toilet tissue be helpful? Rocket 🚀 Science, for some .”