2019 was a great year, full of growth and development, here at the milk bank. We dispensed 454, 815 ounces of milk to babies in need. In 2018 we dispensed 403,616 ounces, which means in 2019 we dispensed 51,199 more ounces of milk. That is a lot of milk!
Staff and volunteers
In 2019 we welcomed Samira Lazar (Lab Technician), Rochelly Cruz (Lab Technician), Anna Obendorf (Lab Technician), Olivia Sahovey (Communications Assistant), Emmett McCleary (Client Relations Assistant) and Angela Bello (Laboratory Manager) to our staff. Our amazing staff have enabled our milk bank to increase our production and our dispensing rates.
Our volunteer program has been expanding. Volunteer groups from various colleges and companies have been lending a hand. Additionally, we have regular volunteers and volunteers in our Bikers for Babies program. Together our volunteers have dedicated over 789 hours, and the Bikers for Babies program completed 11 rides, transporting 5,048 ounces of donor milk. Our wonderful volunteers are a huge part of our milk bank family.
Expanding access to milk
Not only are we dispensing more milk, but we are making it easier to access milk. In 2019, we opened 8 depots in 5 states, including our first depot in New Jersey. As of the end of 2019 we had a total of 28 depots in 9 states. We have been opening more dispensaries as well. In 2019, we opened 3 outpatient dispensaries in 3 states. In total we now have 4 dispensaries in 4 states. Now more families can drop off and pick up milk with ease.
To make donor milk more equitable our milk bank has been streamlining our Special Assistance Program (SAP). The price of donor milk should not stop a mom from getting the donor milk she needs for her baby. Equitable access to donor milk is a core value of all nonprofit milk banks accredited by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA).
Our staff worked together with community members, breastfeeding advocates, healthcare providers, and legislators to get donor milk covered by Medicaid in Connecticut. Our advocacy efforts in several states will continue to grow throughout 2020.
Screening donors in multiple languages
We are looking forward to another fantastic year in 2020. Thank you to all of our staff members, donors, recipients and milk bank friends who allow us to help more babies in need each year.