Question: Our hospital is a Donation and Outreach Center for the Mothers’ Milk Bank, a nonprofit program. We will be accepting drop-offs of frozen milk from local women and shipping it to the milk bank where it will be collected and processed. The milk bank provides the milk to babies across the country, so the program is not exclusive to our patients.
Can costs of the program be reported as community benefit? Costs would include paid staff time spent answering emails/calls to the milk banking phone line and email; explaining the process to prospective donors and pre-screening them for medical suitability. It could also include administrative expenses such as heavy-duty packing tape, printing and mailing fact sheets, parking for donors.
Recommendation: We recommend reporting all the expenses of the milk bank program as community benefit. The community health need is demonstrated by partnering with a nonprofit organization. Also, the evidence that breast feeding contributes to babies' health and helps low-birth weight babies supports reporting the costs as community benefit. We recommend reporting costs in E3 as an in-kind donation.