Ky. mothers ‘stepping up’ by donating extra milk amid baby formula shortage
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A nonprofit is helping Kentucky families while the nationwide formula shortage continues.
Many mothers are running into empty shelves and overpriced cans for sale online. Some babies require special formulas, which may also be in low supply. More milk donation centers are popping up and Kentucky mothers are doing their part to help.
A trip to the blood center often means saving a life.
“We want to support because we understand how important it is to have community donors supporting a cause,” said Mandy Brajuha, the vice president of external relations at the Kentucky Blood Center.
Those who stop at this freezer are doing just that.
“We log how much they’re donating and get their donor ID. We are able to put that on dry ice and FedEx it up to the milk bank for processing in Indianapolis,” Brajuha said.
That’s where the Milk Bank in Indiana takes over.
“About 80% of our milk is going to babies in the hospital who are in the NICU and for them, donor milk is life-saving medicine,” said Jenna Streit, the milk bank advancement director.
There’s a higher demand right now.
“We are hearing from an uptick in recipient families who are exploring the option of using donor milk,” Streit said.
With the ongoing crisis, the Milk Bank said moms from Kentucky are stepping up to help provide breast milk.
“We have already had 63 donors from Kentucky, which is incredible. Moms are covering so much already and it’s incredible, they’re stepping up and donating extra milk to take care of babies in their community,” Streit said.
Of course, the supply of milk is limited, and shipping is costly.
“We want to be supportive of families in however they’re feeding their babies, and in this time when there’s a shortage and another option, we definitely want to help those families and help if we can,” Streit said.
It’s another way to feed the next generation.
“Let those mothers who are dropping off breast milk become familiar with our locations in case they want to donate blood,” Brajuha said.
There are milk depots located at both of the Kentucky Blood Center’s Lexington locations. Drop off spots in Somerset and Pikeville were added last week.
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