ITHACA, N.Y. (WETM) — Ithaca residents and visitors can now pick up free menstrual products in the Commons at the new Menstrual Equity Center (MEC).

The Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA) opened the MEC outside their office in Center Ithaca on Aug. 10. The MEC will provide all menstruating people in the Ithaca area with access to free period products.

The DIA’s director of administration, Galen Morehead, and its operations director, Terel Marshburn, decided to open the MEC after having discussions with Broome County Period Pantry founders Sarah Seese and Alexis Bronson. According to Seese, the Broome pantry was founded in February and has already provided thousands of period products to locals.

“Being able to help provide much-needed menstrual supplies to the community is something that I believe Ithaca needs,” said Marshburn. “I’m glad we were able to provide this resource to the community.”

According to the DIA, the goal of the new MEC is to make sure all menstruating individuals in Downtown Ithaca have access to affordable and sustainable menstrual products, menstrual health education, and supportive policies. Additionally, the DIA plans to work towards eliminating the shame and stigma around periods and eliminate period poverty (the lack of access to menstrual products) through advocacy, community engagement, and partnerships.

The Menstrual Equity Center will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays. The center will be closed on Sundays. The MEC is located at 171 East State St. on the Commons.