The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) applauds the introduction of bipartisan, bicameral federal donor milk legislation, the Access to Donor Milk Act (S. 2819/H.R. 5486). The bill was introduced by US Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), and US Representatives Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL), and Stephanie Bice (R-OK).
These Congressional champions worked closely with HMBANA to shape the legislation, which, if enacted, would be the first federal donor milk policy passed by Congress. HMBANA calls on Congress to move quickly to pass this vital legislation.
The Access to Donor Milk Act would:
● Allow state agencies to use Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) funding to promote the need for and benefits of donor milk, and allow WIC funds to support donor milk activities in states;
● Provide emergency capacity funding ($3 million) for milk banks in the event there is a rapid increase in demand for donor milk, as occurred during the 2022 formula shortage;
● Create a donor milk awareness program at the Department of Health and Human Services ($1 million) to educate the public on donor milk and nonprofit milk banks and to publicize the need for donor milk; and
● Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to draft guidance that addresses appropriate standards for collecting, processing, handling, transferring, and storing donor milk. It also requires the Secretary to convene a public meeting to inform this guidance.
HMBANA’s Executive Director, Lindsay Groff, said: “This legislation recognizes the vital importance of donor milk for the health and well-being of infants across the country. We are grateful to Senators Duckworth and Rubio, and Representatives Houlahan, Salazar, and Bice for their commitment and partnership in championing this cause. Donor milk is a life-saving resource, and with this Act, we move closer to a future where every infant in need has access. We urge Congress to recognize the urgency and importance of this legislation, and to act swiftly in its passage.”
CONTACTS: For media inquiries, contact Lindsay Groff at firstname.lastname@example.org or (817) 810-9984