Alberta breast milk bank to help more babies thanks to government grant

The NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank received a grant from the provincial government on Thursday. Global News

Breast milk is arguably one of the best sources of nutrition, but when mothers aren’t able to produce it, they turn to banks.

Now, with help from the provincial government, the NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank can continue helping Alberta mothers provide their babies with the best nutrients for their little bodies.

“The funding is going to make such a difference in our community reach,” outreach coordinator Reid Brodie said Thursday.

“We are going to be able to purchase a new pasteurizer with the funding, completely overhaul our computer systems as well as make other technology upgrades in our lab.”

READ MORE: Calgary breast milk bank rebrands, expands and calls for more donors

The NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank is the only community-based milk bank in the country. The organization accepts breast milk from approved donors, which is then pasteurized and given to babies in hospitals and homes.

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NorthernStar, formerly the Calgary Mothers Milk Bank, announced in 2015 that it was expanding to provide milk for babies across Western Canada. It added five collection sites in Grande Prairie, Red Deer, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Winnipeg.

The grant for just over $120,000 was given as part of the Community and Facilities Enhancement Program.

“This organization is important to the Calgary community, Alberta community and across Canada as we’re able to help babies who are fragile and in need of mothers milk to help them get stronger faster and home to their families quickly,” Brodie said.

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