Friday, February 23, 2024

School Committee student member Anaïs Killian and vice chair Manikka Bowman show menstrual sanitation products to publicize the launch of their Period Equity Bank. (Photo: Manikka Bowman)

Free menstrual sanitary products can now be taken home by students through family liaisons, nurses or The Spot Cambridge, a clothing swap, through a Period Equity Bank program, School Committee vice chair Manikka Bowman said Tuesday. The products are also given out at school resource and community fairs.

Building on a 2016 initiative that expanded access to free sanitary hygiene products and proper disposal containers in all district facilities, Bowman and student committee member Anaïs Killian launched the Period Equity Bank program this fall with the district facilities team.

“I’m elated to end my time on the Cambridge School Committee as it began – by continuing CPSD’s period equity commitment,” said Bowman, who was first elected in 2015 but in July announced that she wouldn’t seek a fourth term in office. “Expanding access so students can have these products beyond the school day will support young people in need. I’m proud of what we have accomplished.”

The products students take home will also be better, the result of several meetings with district distributor Hospeco and the facilities team, Bowman and Killian said. The district has said it will buy the highest-quality product Hospeco offers, they said.

“I was very pleased when the district decided to provide menstrual products in CPS bathrooms free of charge throughout the district,” said Diane Fisk Johnson, financial manager for the district’s Facilities & Transportation department, in a press release. “I applaud the ongoing efforts to publicly recognize menstruation as a normal function common to half of humanity for a significant portion of their lives.”

This post took significant amounts of material from a press release.