People from low income households across Scotland will be able to receive free sanitary products from FareShare.
Following the successful pilot in Aberdeen, FareShare will receive over £500,000 to distribute sanitary products with the aim of reaching an estimated 18,800 more people.
An evaluation of the pilot showed that two thirds of those who took part had experienced difficulties in accessing sanitary products in the past. It is expected that wider access will go some way to reducing the anxiety experienced by those who struggle to find the money to buy these essential items.
Equalities Secretary Angela Constance said:
“The pilot in Aberdeen helped us to understand the barriers that some people face when it comes to accessing sanitary products and I’d like to thank Community Food Initiatives North East for their help and work on this. In total 1,082 people women and girls took part and helped us identify ways that we could make free products easily accessible to those who need them.
“It is unacceptable that anyone in Scotland should be unable to access sanitary products and I am pleased that we are able to work with FareShare to make products available more widely through the services delivered by their partners.”
Head of FareShare in Scotland Gillian Kynoch said:
“FareShare works with over 1,000 community organisations and charities across Scotland. We are excited to be working with the Scottish Government to use this network to make sanitary products available to people across Scotland. Our partners CFINE, Move On, Transform and Cyrenians will be supporting the distribution, working with low income and vulnerable people to break down taboos and stigma. This is an issue that has gone unheeded for too long.”
FareShare will receive funding for both products and delivery, and distribution will begin over the summer. FareShare are the UK’s largest charity fighting hunger and food waste. They redistribute surplus food to frontline charities and community groups.
FareShare will use their centres in Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh to distribute products.
FareShare will use Hey Girls among other suppliers to provide the sanitary products, offering pads, tampons, reusable and cups to ensure a suitable variety and quality. Training and education sessions will be delivered by community development workers and will promote reusable products and cups to encourage more sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions.
The evaluation of the pilot in Aberdeen can be found online.
From August, Scotland will be the first national government to make sanitary products available to those at school, college or university.