The city of Fort Worth will soon start offering free menstrual products in restrooms at its community centers, libraries, city hall and municipal court.

City Council voted unanimously June 14 on the plan, which was inspired by two Paschal High School students who successfully advocated for sanitary napkins and tampons to be provided for free in Fort Worth ISD schools.

District 9 Council Member Elizabeth Beck said she learned about the teens’ effort through the media and wanted the city to do its part.

“Tonight’s council proposal is about equity,” Beck said. “It’s about dignity, and it’s about basic human hygiene.”

According to a City Council memo, one in four women struggle to purchase menstrual supplies because of their cost.

The memo stated that a similar initiative in 2019 in other Texas cities cost about $33,000 a year. City staff plan to get an estimate on costs for Fort Worth facilities and begin implementation. The costs will also be added to the general fund budget beginning in fiscal year 2022-23, the memo stated.

“We don't ask residents to source their own toilet paper or their own soap, and feminine products are the same basic hygiene necessities, which is why it makes sense that they would be provided in city facilities,” Beck said.