The push for free feminine hygiene products is finally coming to a triumphant end, as officials of the New York Education Department have approved a pilot program to provide high schoolers with free tampons — for the first time ever!
City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland (D-Queens), the brainchild behind the new program, actually installed stand-alone bathroom dispenser with free tampons and pads at the Queens High School for Arts and Business last year. Both students and staffers were pleased with the benefits of having free tampons and sanitary napkins, so she decided to further build upon her idea with hopes of changing more lives for the better.
For the pilot program, Ferreras-Copeland decided to target those students that truly needed her services, explaining to the New York Daily News, “Girls in these districts face the greatest financial hardships. I want to ensure none of them lose class time, face illness or feel humiliated because their family cannot afford pads.”
Interestingly, there is no mandate for public schools to actually provide feminine hygiene products for students. However, there are many schools that have them handy for emergencies and are commonly distributed by school nurses.
“The goal is to help female students focus on learning and feel comfortable during class, said Deputy Schools Chancellor Elizabeth Rose, who’s helping to manage the project. “Having easy access to feminine care products is essential. This pilot marks a major step in providing additional resources to students in need.”
By March 31, 25 public schools located in the boroughs of Queens and the Bronx will have fully implemented the program, reaching roughly 11,600 students, the Daily News reports. And if all goes well, Ferreras-Copeland has high hopes to continue to expand her program to more high schools and even middle schools in the New York City area.