Local organizations desperate for breast milk, diaper donations ahead of holidays

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INDIANAPOLIS – Two local organizations are asking for Hoosier help ahead of the holiday season. 

The Milk Bank emailed CBS4 and said it desperately needs donations. It is asking for 300 volunteers to donate breast milk as soon as possible, so that it can meet demand. 

The Milk Bank has experienced a 58 percent increase in need this year. Its executive director said they aren’t yet able to pinpoint why that has been the case. Freedom Kolb predicts the organization will distribute about 300,000 ounces this year. Most of that has gone to premature, fragile infants in the NICU. 

“We know it can increase survival rates 75 percent, in most cases, and up to 77 percent in specific diagnoses,” Kolb said. 

The Milk Bank insists it is easy to donate. Mothers will need to fill out a survey online and discuss the matter with their doctor. The Milk Bank will arrange for the individual to have their blood drawn and then they will screen for any issues. The bank covers any costs associated with that step of the process. Once a person is approved, donors can drop off their breast milk at the bank’s main location or one of the 60 depots throughout the Midwest. 

The Diaper Bank is asking for help, too 

The Diaper Bank saw an increase in need when people started hoarding amid the pandemic. Then, its director said parents started losing their jobs and therefore, their incomes. Now, the bank is seeing an increased need because of rising prices.  

Statistics show the cost of disposable diapers has increased nine percent within the last year. One in three families are now struggling to afford them.  

“Families generally spend between $80-100 per month, per child. Here at the Diaper Bank, most of the families we serve have more than one child in diapers. so that could be $200 a month,” Rachael Suskovich, the bank’s CEO and president, said. 

The Diaper Bank is not only asking for donations, but for organizations to play host a diaper drive. They haven’t had any collection events since before the pandemic. 

The Diaper Bank especially needs help the day after Thanksgiving through January 5th. It is kicking off its “Share the Love” event and needs places to collect and distribute. 

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