Central Indiana’s first ever milk drive was held in Indianapolis Thursday. The event supports the state’s only human breast milk bank.
The Milk Bank provides breast milk to Indiana neonatal intensive care units as well as other areas in the Midwest and the South. A shortage prompted the organization to set up two drives says donor coordinator Lauren Duncan.
"Right now, the demand exceeds our supply, so we needed to take drastic measures and get milk in the door," says Duncan.
A currently or recently lactating mother can get screened, blood test and donate during a milk drive. Stored milk may also be donated.
Duncan says the donations are vital.
"It doesn’t just serve a nutritional purpose, but a therapeutic and medicinal purpose as well. It can really help heal their digestive system and set them up to thrive," Duncan says.
In it’s 12-year history, Indiana’s first and only milk bank has dispensed more than 1.6 million ounces of human breast milk for hospitals.
Another central Indiana drive will be held Feb. 4 at Community South. Fort Wayne and Evansville drives last year resulted in 18 new donors.