SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A new collaboration is taking shape in Santa Fe to provide free feminine products to those in need. The non-profit Free Flow New Mexico is now partnering with libraries in Santa Fe.
The organization was created in the Fall of 2020 during the pandemic, when students had limited access to hygiene products. According to Free Flow New Mexico founder Laurie Merrill every month several volunteers gather to put together bags of feminine hygiene products. “We put together 300 bags that are then distributed to individuals and to about 20 organizations in Santa Fe and northern New Mexico,” said Merrill.
Initially Free Flow New Mexico was distributing the items to just schools and shelters, but now they’re partnering with libraries in Santa Fe to feature the products in boxes called Period Pods. “A period pod is just like the little libraries that you see within your community but instead of grabbing a book you’re grabbing a bag of period products,” said Merrill.
The Period Pods are located in front of the library. By the end of last month, the third pod was installed at Oliver La Farge Library in Santa Fe. People are already taking advantage of the pods. “People have been taking materials home with them which I think is amazing,” said Margaret Neill, Library Division Director for the City of Santa Fe.
Each of the pods were painted by a local artist. Simona Rael was one of the creative minds behind the latest pod. “I just really wanted it to be empowering for the body and the self, the spirit and the mind because my work is very spiritual and I believe that we all deserve to feel beautiful within our bodies,” said Rael.
Free Flow New Mexico is taking turns with 20 organizations to make sure the pods are always filled with bags and counting on the honesty of people to leave plenty for others. They’re also hoping to install a fourth Period Pod in Santa Fe next month.