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Richmond considers providing free menstrual products

Lowering stigma is cited as one reason for providing free menstrual products.
City council will consider offering free menstrual products at its facilities.

One Richmond city councillor wants the municipality to follow in the footsteps of the school district and provide free menstrual products in city-run facilities.

Coun. Carol Day is bringing the initiative forward at next week’s committee meeting.

She was approached by a constituent, Laura Greenwood, who pointed out a pilot in Coquitlam met with success and is being rolled out at an annual cost of $25,000 for menstrual products.

(This was on top of the pilot project which cost $19,000 and the dispensers, which were $35,000.)

“Periods are a fact of life and menstrual products can be expensive,” Greenwood said in her letter to Day, adding “Every month, this financial barrier, along with ongoing stigma, prevents vulnerable people who menstruate from attending school, going to work and contributing to their community.”

Richmond council first discussed this in November, and a report is expected during the first quarter of this year.

So far, the school district has spent $46,000 on dispensers (261 units) and $17,000 on supplies. The menstrual products are expected to cost about $10,000 to $12,000 per year moving forward.

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