By Brian Schultz
Winnipeg Harvest is staring down a grim $100,000 shortfall this year in its program that feeds hungry babies.
The program buys infant formula, which is the only food the Winnipeg food bank purchases itself. The rest of the food on its shelves come solely from community donations.
An average of 1,600 infants per month are fed through the Feeding Hungry Babies program. Harvest spends $200,000 annually on such baby formula.
“Infancy is such a critical time for growth and development. Proper nutrition is absolutely essential for babies to get off to a healthy start,” said Dr. Joyce Slater, associate professor in the Department of Human Nutritional Sciences at the University of Manitoba.
“They require the key vitamins and minerals in breast milk, but if mothers can’t breastfeed, these nutrients need to be provided through high-quality breast milk substitutes such as infant formula.”
Donations can be made through the Winnipeg Harvest website or in-person at 1085 Winnipeg Avenue.