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Ribbon-cutting Ceremony Celebrates Menstrual Product Availability in City Hall

SOS’s smart vending machines offer free menstrual products and wellness products for purchase.

BOSTON - Friday March 1, 2024 – The Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement (MOWA) and Property Management cut the ribbon on two SOS smart vending machines which offer free menstrual products and wellness products for purchase in City Hall. This launch was celebrated with a ribbon cutting event last Friday.

“Ensuring that residents have equitable access to menstrual products is critical for their health and well-being,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “As we work to make Boston a city for everyone, we are excited to increase menstrual equity through access to free products at City Hall.”

The SOS vending machines, located in City Hall on the 2nd floor near the City of Boston Credit Union and the 8th floor near south elevators, dispense free pads and tampons. Other wellness products including deodorant, sunscreen, and more are also available for purchase.

"I am thrilled to celebrate the opening of two SOS vending machines in City Hall. This is the city demonstrating commitment to menstrual equity by placing these products in City Hall," said Boston City Councilor Gabriela Coletta, District 1. "I'm committed to working in partnership to ensure Boston is breaking barriers by having menstrual products accessible in all public buildings free of stigma."

This past fall, MOWA partnered with the Boston Public Libraries to pilot a program offering free menstrual products and education at six Boston Public Library branches.

“This is another step towards ending Period Poverty in the city that we hope will expand to making menstrual products accessible in all public buildings,” said Alexandra Valdez, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “MOWA is committed to supporting all aspects of women’s health and overall well-being by focusing on initiatives that impact women throughout their lives such as menstrual education and product access, reproductive rights, and maternal health, especially those in communities that are underrepresented."

"This is not only a public health concern but a basic equity issue," said Eamon Shelton, Commissioner of Property Management. "The fact that safe and affordable access to menstrual products disproportionately affects vulnerable communities is why initiatives like this one are so important. With the installation of these vending machines, the City of Boston is setting an example and proving that it is committed to having a fully equitable and participatory society."

“Menstrual products can cost families at least $216 per person, per year,” said Mariangely Solis Cervera, Chief of Equity and Inclusion. “We understand that many families are struggling with the rising cost of living, and it is our belief that essential products, like pads and tampons, should not be a financial burden.” 

“As a company founded in Boston, introducing SOS™ to City Hall alongside MOWA marks a pivotal milestone for us,” said Co-CEO and Co-Founder, Susanna Twarog. “Beyond supporting Mayor Wu's mission to enhance period care accessibility, our patented design and technology are revolutionizing the built world on a global scale.” 

SOS™ is pioneering a paradigm shift in how the built world fulfills universal human needs and prioritizes human well-being. Our patented approach combines state-of-the-art design and cutting-edge technology to deliver memorable, relevant, and delightful consumer experiences. In collaboration with esteemed brands, iconic landmarks, entertainment hubs, and retail destinations, SOS™ is shaping a future where every body is served.

"Menstrual products are an essential item just like toilet paper and should be available where menstruators need them, in the bathroom,” said Sasha Goodfriend, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Organization for Women (Mass NOW). “The City of Boston's menstrual equity initiative is an innovative strategy to meet the needs of people experiencing period poverty. The cost of these products has been passed down to menstruators for generations and it is time that Boston considers menstrual dignity a human right.

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