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Salt Lake to provide free feminine hygiene products

(Credit: Alastair Grant, Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY – It could be a big relief for women in Salt Lake City.  The City Council has just approved a pilot program that will provide feminine hygiene products at no cost in their facilities.

Some council members, like Erin Mendenhall, say since the city doesn’t charge for things like toilet paper in city-operated buildings, why are they charging a quarter for feminine hygiene products?

“It’s not an option for women when it comes to your period about whether or not you’re going to use some sort of product,” she says.

The council set aside $20 thousand dollars to purchase pads and tampons and place them where they currently have vending machines in bathrooms.  How long will this program be?

“As long as the money lasts,” Mendenhall says.  “We’ll re-evaluate and hopefully we’ll find this is worth the investment in Salt Lake City.”

Council members say some women spend up to $1,800 on these products over the course of their lifetime.

Mendenhall says, “We’re going to see what the costs are, what the usage ends up being and how far those dollars go.”

If this program is successful, Mendenhall hopes to expand it to schools, golf courses and the airport.

“The intention on behalf of Council Member [Ana] Valdemoros, Council Member [Amy] Fowler and myself is to work with the Salt Lake City School District and the county to talk about opportunities for us to get this program into the schools and the jails for female inmates,” Mendenhall says.