68% of school-age menstruators lack access to period products.
SALT LAKE CITY, July 25, 2022 – For K-12 students in Utah, worrying about accessibility to period products at school is no more. Today, Aunt Flow, which is on a mission to change the world one cycle at a time, announced the upcoming installation of 6,300 Aunt Flow free-vend dispensers in the majority of public and charter schools across the state. Access to free period products is now required by law because of the work done by The Policy Project. Utah State Board of Education (USBE) will oversee the program that will offer free period products to all menstruators, beginning with the 2022-2023 school year.
Through private donors and The Policy Project, Aunt Flow free-vend dispensers and Aunt Flow organic cotton period products will be available for Utah menstruators in grades K-12.
The Policy Project proposed House Bill 162 “Period Products in School,” which passed unanimously by the Utah Legislature in March 2022 and signed into law by Gov. Spencer Cox. The bill requires all public and charter schools in Utah to provide access to free period products in every girls’ and all-gender bathroom.
“Period products are not a luxury, but a necessity,” said Emily Bell McCormick, president and founder of Utah-based The Policy Project, which includes Utah Period Project. “Not having access to tampons and pads leads to missed school, shame and lowered confidence. Many families cannot afford tampons and pads. We were drawn to Aunt Flow period products because of the quality and the dignity these will provide our students.”
Period inequity and accessibility is an issue for students in grades K-12 across the country. One in five menstruating students have missed school because of a lack of period supplies and resources, and one in four teenage menstruators said they can’t afford to buy period products. However, according to the National Education Association, one school system that offered free menstrual products saw a 2.4% increase in school attendance.
Through private donations from the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation and The Andrus Family Fund, period product dispensers will be installed in public and private school bathrooms in Utah. Funding from H.B. 162 will be utilized to refill the period products.
“I started Aunt Flow when I couldn’t find any period products while out in public, which was very frustrating,” said Aunt Flow Chief Estrogen Officer (CEO) Claire Coder. “No menstruator should have to go through that. Toilet paper is offered for free; why aren’t tampons and pads? Through the amazing work by The Policy Project, Utah has become a leader in the period equity movement, ensuring its school-age menstruators have access to period products. We’re proud to be part of this monumental effort.”
Since 2016, Columbus, Ohio-based Aunt Flow has been committed to ensuring everyone has access to period products. The company helped create the B2B industry category, and today, Aunt Flow leads the menstrual movement with organic cotton period products as well as an innovative, patented free-vend period product dispenser that is stocked in the bathrooms of corporate partners, K-12 school districts, universities and entertainment venues across the country.
In the past few years, the period equity movement has grown drastically. In 2021 alone, Aunt Flow added 300 new customers, supplied more than 3,000 bathroom dispensers, stocked bathrooms with 5.8 million period products and donated over 1.6 million period products for menstruators in need.
About Aunt Flow
Aunt Flow is committed to ensuring that everyone has access to period products. Claire Coder founded Aunt Flow after getting her period in public without the supplies needed. At 18-years-old, she dedicated her life to developing a solution to ensure businesses and schools could sustainably provide high-quality menstrual products for free in bathrooms. Now, 900+ companies have joined the menstrual movement with Aunt Flow, providing free-vend dispensers stocked with organic tampons and pads. For every 10 tampons and pads sold, Aunt Flow donates one to a menstruator in need. We call this people helping people. PERIOD.® For more information and to join the menstrual movement, visit www.goauntflow.com.
About The Policy Project
The Policy Project is a nonprofit (501c3), non-partisan organization that promotes solution-based policies to remove barriers to opportunity. We work toward healthy, equitable policy for the future of our children, our community and our world. We are currently working to end period poverty in our lifetime as part of the Utah Period Project
About Utah State Board of Education
The Utah State Board of Education is vested with the general control and supervision of the state’s public education system which encompasses more than 1,100 schools, 35,000 licensed educators, and 670,000 students. Public school students comprise more than one-fifth of the state’s population.
Molly Todd Rudy