KOSCIUSKO COUNTY — No medicine works for premature infants like human milk, but many infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit don’t have access to this resource. The Milk Bank, a nonprofit serving NICUs across the Midwest, is now expanding into Northern Indiana so more families can be part of this lifesaving mission.
They are opening a new milk depot at the Kosciusko County WIC in Warsaw, Monday, Nov. 9. This will allow approved donor mothers in the area to drop off their milk donations, which are then sent to The Milk Bank’s pasteurization facility in Indianapolis and distributed to NICUs across the region. When a milk depots is not geographically convenient for a donor, they must package and ship their donations to The Milk Bank.
The Milk Bank, an HMBANA-affiliated nonprofit milk bank, improves health outcomes for premature and ill infants. They are the first and only donor human milk bank in Indiana, and they operate by receiving human milk from carefully screened donors, and pasteurize, freeze, and test for sterility before distributing milk throughout the United States. With 45 drop-off locations throughout the Midwest, The Milk Bank has received milk donations from 30 states and supplied donor milk to over 100 hospitals in 28 states.
“We are thrilled to open a milk depot to welcome more Indiana mothers to our mission,” said Janice O’Rourke, executive director of The Milk Bank. “When more mothers are aware of how easy the milk donation process is and how they can be a part of our life saving missing, more infants will benefit.”
The Kosciusko County WIC depot’s official opening 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 9, in Warsaw at 515 Provident Dr., #120. It will include a ribbon-cutting and remarks from Kosciusko Community Hospital and Kosciusko County WIC, Cardinal Services, Inc. and The Milk Bank on the benefits of breastfeeding and importance of donor milk.