April 15, 2020 By Christian Murray
New York City has set up meal hubs at schools across the five boroughs and now several Queens legislators are calling for free feminine products to be available at these locations too.
Assemblywomen Cathy Nolan and Aravella Simotas—along with Congresswomen Carolyn Maloney and Grace Meng—are calling on the Department of Education to provide free feminine hygiene products at the approximately 400 school locations where free meals are being distributed on weekdays from 7:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The legislators have joined forces with Femstrate, a group formed by students at the Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria, who are calling on the DOE to make free menstruation products available. The group note that the DOE has already purchased these products and they are currently sitting in supply closets at city schools.
“Our mission is to bring menstrual equality to every school in New York City and beyond,” Femstrate said in a release. “New York City can easily fulfill this promise … by providing period products to those in need.”
Simotas said that it is important that all women can get period products at this time.
“Period poverty affects so many New Yorkers and the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has left many people without incomes, exacerbating the problem,” Simotas said. “Using supplies the city already has and redistributing them to those who need them most is a feasible action that will bring relief to many people who menstruate.”
Nolan said that it was important that access to these products remains available to students and adults during the crisis.
“The need for these supplies does not stop, even when the City has to.”
The founders of Femstrate has set up a GoFundMe page to help sponsor their initiative.