Non-profit ready to help with formula shortage

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — For the past several months, supplies of baby formula have dwindled from store shelves. It’s a combination of supply chain problems and a recall in February of three brands of powered formula.

“It’s certainly scary for a lot of families. We’re hearing the desperation in their voice when they’re calling,” Jenna Streit, Advancement Director at The Milk Bank, said.

The Milk Bank is a non-profit that provides donated milk which can be life saving for mothers who can’t breast feed and whose infants are experiencing health issues.

Donated milk is a valubale subsitute for formula.

“For babies who have some kind of medical condition or a formula intolerance, or maybe they’ve been on a specialty formula due to an illness, they don’t have a lot of options right now,” Streit said.

As a member of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America, The Milk Bank has to set aside a portion of it’s supplies for babies born premature.

Streit is urging moms not to dilute baby formula or even make their own formula if they can’t find any on store shelves, as it could be dangerous for an infant. Instead, she is asking moms who need milk to contact The Milk Bank.

“To receive donor milk, there is a processing fee associated with it. It’s $4.50 an ounce. We recognize that can be a burden for families, but there is a lot of work that goes into ensuring the safety of milk,” Streit said.

That includes pasteurizing and testing the milk before it is fit for consumption. Some moms can get financial support through The Milk Bank’s medical relief fund.

“We can offer up to 40 ounces without a prescription. If you need milk for a longer amount of time, we will work with your doctor to get the prescription,” Streit said.

The Milk Bank is looking for donors. It takes about a week to get approved. Donors will need to provide some of their health history to The Milk Bank to be eligible.

If you can’t donate milk, you can donate money or your time to help out.