Milk bank in need of donors amid rising demand due to infant formula shortage

Nonprofit sends out 22,000 ounces of donor milk weekly, up from 15,000 last year

Milk bank in need of donors amid rising demand due to infant formula shortage

AUSTIN – Empty shelves and desperate parents have become a common sight around the country because there’s not enough infant formula. Some parents are now turning to milk banks for help.

“What we’ve been doing is providing up to 39 ounces of milk to those families in crisis,” said Kim Updegrove, with the Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin. “Now, if you’ve got a new little baby who’s been on formula for a week, 39 ounces, it’s nice. It’s going to buy you quite a few days. But if you have a four-month-old, really 9 ounces might buy you a day and a smidgen.”

Texas is home to the largest milk bank in the country. Updegrove said the nonprofit is getting calls from families who typically rely on formula.

The milk bank usually helps babies with medical needs, but now it’s helping families out of options.

The milk bank sends out 22,000 ounces of pasteurized donor milk each week. That’s up from 15,000 ounces weekly last year.

That means it needs donors -- healthy, lactating moms who have extra milk can donate as long as they meet screening requirements. The screening is done at no cost to the mother.

Moms interested in helping can visit the milk bank’s website by clicking here.

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Emily joined the News 6 team in May 2020.