Rep. Farrar Applauds $2 Million in State Budget to Address Period Poverty

May 5, 2022

State Representative Kate Farrar (D – West Hartford) lauds the inclusion of $2 million in state budget to address access to menstrual products in Connecticut public school restrooms, on college campuses, and in shelters.

The funding was included in the budget, which the House of Representatives and Senate passed this week, because of legislation Rep. Farrar introduced to address period poverty in Connecticut. The funding will support access to free disposable menstrual products for students and individuals in shelters. The measure expands upon legislation previously enacted to provide free menstrual products to individuals who are incarcerated in Connecticut.

“I would like to thank members of the Appropriations Committee for supporting this proposal to remove one of the barriers impacting access to these products for our students and those in our shelters and for taking another step to advancing menstrual equity in Connecticut," said Rep. Farrar. “No one should have to choose between food, housing, their education, and access to menstrual products, but menstruators across our state, country, and even globally, make that decision nearly every month."

"This legislation reflects growing public recognition that period supplies are basic essentials that should be accessible where and when folks need them. It is the embodiment of the years of work of students, advocates, legislators and citizens across the state who want to ensure that people have barrier free access to period supplies throughout Connecticut’s institutions." Janet Stolfi Alfano, Executive Director of The Diaper Bank of Connecticut

"As a menstrual equity advocate, I have met some of the girls who cannot afford menstrual products and I understand how this, and the stigmatization of periods can negatively impact their physical and mental health. I believe that this funding will not only give menstruators access to products, but it will empower women and girls in our state by working to eliminate the shame around menstruation and create a more open and understanding society," said Asija Qyteza, President of the UConn Waterbury Associated Student Government and LIVEGirl Leader.

 “Menstrual products are a basic human need,” said Janée Woods Weber, Executive Director of the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF). “Access to menstrual products is essential to the educational success, economic security and public health of all who menstruate in our state. We support this measure as a critical step to alleviating period poverty in Connecticut and applaud the Public Health Committee for advancing this important legislation forward.”

"This funding gives an opportunity to young individuals who menstruate to build their confidence and alleviate the stress that comes with having a period. High school certainly isn’t easy and having to worry about where you’ll find a pad should not be a monthly struggle. It will promote the fight against the stigma that society has brought upon us and brings together hundreds of individuals with unique stories and backgrounds." said Chanel Thorpe, a student at Conard High School in West Hartford.

The Public Health Committee approved Rep. Farrar's bill proposal in March by a vote of 20 to 9, sending it to the House. Due to the bill's fiscal note, the House referred it to the Appropriations Committee where members voted overwhelmingly to approve the provision.

In the United States, 1 in 4 residents who menstruate cannot afford menstrual products. According to the report, "State of the Period 2021," 70 percent of students say their academic environment makes them self-conscious of their periods, and 38 percent struggle to do their best school work because they cannot access menstrual products.