Governor Baker: Release the $500,000 allocated for menstrual products in shelters

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker

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On January 30th, 2021 Governor Charlie Baker signed an Economic Development Bond bill to allocate $500,000 to shelters throughout the state of Massachusetts to provide menstrual products. To this day, Governor Baker has yet to release the funding for shelters to provide menstrual products to menstruating people.

Sign this petition to let Governor Baker know that periods don't stop for a pandemic. Gov. Baker should release the funds so menstruating people living in shelters can have access to FREE menstrual products.

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To: Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker
From: [Your Name]

Dear Governor Baker,

Thank you for passing the Economic Development House bill 5250 to provide funding for $500,000 of menstrual products for homeless shelters across the state. This was the first time in our state’s history that we have supported period policy and it was made possible with your help. We appreciate your help in challenging taboo norms and bringing menstrual equity to the forefront of policy conversations.

As you know, COVID-19 has made it increasingly difficult for unhoused people to receive essential goods, including menstrual products. While our coalition has worked tirelessly with shelters across the state to provide these products, there is still an unmet need to provide more products to menstruators across the state.

On January 14, 2021 you approved House Bill 5250, An Act Enabling Partnerships for Growth. Section 2, line item 7002-8036 allocates $500,000 to the Department of Housing and Community Development to distribute menstrual products to shelters across the state. We write to you today to urge you to release the $500,000 to the Department of Housing and Community Development to help move the process forward and distribute the necessary products to every single shelter across the state.

Governor Baker, menstrual products are a necessity. Not only are they an essential part of caring for personal health and hygiene for menstruating people, but they allow people to live with basic dignity. In the 2020 Menstrual Access Survey distributed to homeless shelters by the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, it was found that only 31% of shelters surveyed had menstrual products included in their shelter’s budget. Since the release of the survey, COVID-19 has ravaged our communities and has skyrocketed the need for menstrual products as more people experience housing insecurity.

We need these funds to be released now more than ever. With your current stay at home orders, there will be countless homeless menstruators struggling to obtain the products they need during this global pandemic. We know period poverty is not a third world issue. It is an American issue, and it is a Massachusetts problem we can solve for some with your help.

We thank you for your consideration. We would be happy to discuss period poverty, period policy, and feminist economic policy with you further at your convenience.

Sincerely,

The Massachusetts Menstrual Equity Coalition