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Milk Drives launched to provide relief for Hoosier families facing the infant formula shortage.

THE INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND THE MILK BANK LAUNCH ADDITIONAL EFFORTS TO PROVIDE RELIEF FOR HOOSIER FAMILIES FACING THE INFANT FORMULA SHORTAGE.

The infant formula shortage continues to impact families and infant health across the United States. Indiana has been particularly affected by not only shortages in stores and safety recalls associated with Abbott Nutrition, but also breastfeeding rates below national average[1].

While national relief efforts are underway, restocking shelves will take time, and families need help urgently. Thanks to philanthropic donations to our medical relief fund, The Milk Bank provides safe pasteurized donor human milk to hundreds of families outside of the hospital setting who need to bridge a gap in infant nutrition. Call us at 317-536-1670 to discuss your outpatient needs or complete the application online at themilkbank.org/recipient-app.

Dr. Kristina Box, State Health Commissioner, emphasizes, “While the upcoming are essential to feeding our babies, our efforts must also protect the regional supply of donor milk for critically ill infants and Neonatal Intensive Care Units. We know that just like blood banks, The Milk Bank is a key partner in public health.  In the absence of a mother’s own milk, pasteurized donor human milk offers optimal nutrition, easy digestibility, and immunologic protection against diseases. Since every ounce counts, we are launching a series of milk drives around the state to ensure that there is enough donor milk for every infant in need.”

EVERY OUNCE COUNTS: MILK DRIVE TOUR

The Every Ounce Counts initiative is a state-wide collaborative effort to increase both immediate and long-term milk donations. “The goal of Every Ounce Counts is to provide convenient opportunities for milk donors to help us improve infant health and save lives,” states Laura Chavez, Director Indiana WIC. “While many people know Indiana WIC through our provision of supplemental foods and formula, we also have a robust breastfeeding support program, and both encourage and support lactating parents in providing human milk to their infants. The Milk Bank’s work supports many of the families that we serve. We are proud and excited to be supporting these milk drives!”

Indiana WIC Deputy Director, Rose Douglass, states, “While our milk drives have the immediate goal of increasing both human milk donors and the human milk supply to distribute back to the community, we also hope to increase awareness around human milk and optimal infant feeding. We hope to engage and educate the public about safe options to donate not only in the shortage but even after the crisis passes. We can celebrate milk donation in the same way we applaud blood donations as lifesaving generosity.”

According to Freedom Kolb, Executive Director of The Milk Bank, “More than 1,000 milk donors step forward every year to make sure all babies have their best chance to survive and thrive. Over the last month, we’ve seen an 89% surge in demand and more than 200% increase in medical relief requests.  We are grateful to the Indiana Department of Health and our philanthropic partners for helping us ensure that no baby goes hungry and the ability to pay does not dictate health outcomes. Truly every ounce does count.”

GET INVOLVED: BECOME A MILK DONOR!

Milk drives allow interested donors to complete their blood draw – an important safety step – and make their first donation during one convenient event, getting milk to tiny tummies faster. Pre-register online and The Milk Bank will be in touch to answer questions and help with next steps.

Every Ounce Counts will launch on July 26th with Franciscan Health Lafayette hosting a milk drive at the Franciscan Community Center. Future milk drives will be held on:

  • August 3rd in Marion County with Franciscan Health Indianapolis

  • August 13th in Monroe County with IU Health Bloomington Hospital

  • August 23rd in Lake County with the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana

  • September 8th in Clark County with Clark Memorial Health

  • September in Allen County with Dupont Hospital

  • October 7th in Marion County for a final celebration at Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana

Register for the August events or express interest in the additional dates and locations today!

Can’t make these dates? Don’t wait – become a milk donor today!

[1] www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/data/reportcard.htm

Tags: Community News, Healthcare, The Milk Bank News

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