Pilot program to place free feminine products in schools begins in Columbus

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — It’s part of nature, but the monthly need for feminine products can also be a source of stress and inconvenience if you’re caught unprepared.

Now, Columbus Council and city schools are trying to give women some support.

“Periods should not have a stigma,” said Councilwoman Elizabeth Brown. “I would challenge your viewers to think if there is any restroom that they go to outside their own home where they are expected to bring their own roll of toilet paper. I would guess the answer is no, and there is no reason that tampons and pads should be any different from that.”

Brown already spearheaded a program to provide free feminine products in all 29 city recreation centers. Now it’s going to all municipal buildings, and for the first time, to the Columbus Preparatory School for Girls.

“It takes some of the anxiety and the stress of starting your teenage years, so when young ladies are starting to experience these changes holistically – so physically and emotionally – having that support there and the barriers and challenges taken away, such as not having access benefits us greatly,” said school principal Stephanie Patton.

This is a pilot program, and if it’s successful, will be expanded to all Columbus schools next year.

“I believe it reduces that anxiety, that embarassment, because it’s something that is part of our body, nature,” said superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon. “It’s going to happen and we want them to be comfortable and not be embarrassed and have the support and the products they need for when it does happen.”

A national study done by Columbus-based non-profit Free The Tampons found that 86 percent of women have started their periods while out in public without the supplies they need.

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