The Maplewood Township Committee passed a resolution that would explore making feminine hygiene products available for no cost in all municipal buildings.
The issue was raised by Township Committeewoman and Public Health chair India Larrier, who said it had been brought to her attention by a recent New York Times article.
“I would like to see feminine hygiene materials being made available free of charge in all of our public buildings,” said Larrier.
Mayor Vic DeLuca asked about the technology required; Larrier said she believed it was similar to coin-operated machines already widely in use, but the products would be dispensed without any payment needed.
Expressing support for the idea, Committeewoman Nancy Adams said she also wished the sales tax on feminine hygiene products would be removed and expressed exasperation with the products’ high price tag. “Someone at the federal level should look at [this]”, said Adams. “The cost is ridiculous. It’s been a pet peeve of mine for some time.”
The issue has recently garnered a great deal of attention; locally, two South Orange sisters founded Girls Helping Girls. Period, an organization which collects feminine hygiene products to distribute to women in need. The organization was recently featured in Woman’s Day. (Read more about GHGP here.)
Larrier noted that one of the township’s public health nurses had brought a similar proposal to the Board of Education regarding making the products available free in district schools.
The TC directed Township Administrator Joseph Manning to work with Public Health director Robert Roe and to report back with suggestions for implementing the initiative.