‘The Milk Bank’ in Indianapolis offering help amid formula shortage
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Formula shelves in grocery stores sit empty nationwide, a direct impact of a voluntary recall earlier this year.
Many families say they can’t find the formula they need, especially those searching for a specific kind due to dietary restrictions.
That’s where The Milk Bank in Indianapolis is trying to help.
“We are zero shame in the formula game,” said Jenna Streit with The Milk Bank. “We are here to support families, they are trying to feed their families, we hear the desperation in their voices.”
The Milk Bank serves Indiana, Kentucky and Missouri through pre-screened donor milk. Potential donors go through an extensive qualification process. Once approved, they donate.
“That milk is then pasteurized, and after the pasteurization process, we send it to a third-party lab to ensure its safety,” Streit said.
From there, it’s shipped to a family or hospital within 24 hours. They even specialize in helping babies with specific dietary needs.
“That’s definitely the group we are most able to serve, are those families using specialty formulas who aren’t able to find them on the shelves right now,” Streit said.
Something most people might not even realize is that lab technicians can combine different donor milk to match properties in those special formulas that have been hard to find.
“We analyze each mom’s milk, we know the caloric value, the protein level in the milk, as well as how much lactose is in it,” Streit said.
Their team has found that most babies respond well to the donor milk, even the ones who normally drink specialty formula.
“Donor milk is easily digestible, far easier digestible than a lot of formula options which is why a lot of people turn to us in the first place,” Streit said.
Formula may be scarce, but The Milk Bank hasn’t had any trouble finding donors.
“I think this month we will set a record for the number of donors we hear from, and that is so exciting and couldn’t come at a better time,” Streit said.
The Milk Fund charges $4.50 an ounce, but they offer a medical relief fund to offset costs for those who can’t afford it.
To receive help from The Milk Bank, or to donate, call their direct line at 317-536-1670.
They also take monetary donations on their website.
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