(Photo by Skyler Pyle) Infant formula costs $28.29 per container at a local grocery store.

Weber State University students in the Social Work 3930 class will hold an infant formula drive March 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Shepherd Union Building. All formula and monetary donations will be given to families in need at the YWCA Domestic Violence Shelter in Salt Lake City.

The WSU Women’s Center will hold a raffle for a gift basket at the event. Every person who donates will have his or her name put into the drawing. The winner will be selected at the end of the drive. The winner does not have to be present during the drawing.

“This is a macro-level project we are doing for our Social Work 3930 class, and it is also a project that is near and dear to my heart,” said Alex Jensen, WSU student and host of the event. “We are supporters of women empowerment and helping our local domestic violence shelters create a safe and stable environment for women and children.”

Women have been shown to have difficulty producing milk when under distress, Jensen explained.

“The physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse these mothers endure can put so much strain on their body that they no longer produce milk,” Jensen said. “Their production lessens and they need additional support to provide nutrition to their infant.”

WSU nontraditional student Teryn Lyman said it can be difficult for mothers to keep up with a new infant]s feeding demands, especially because formula is very expensive. Prices for a 32-ounce container of formula range between $21 and $37.

“My daughter went through one can every 2-3 days,” Lyman said.

Infant formula isn’t donated often because of the high cost, and an infant can go through about three cans per week or an average of 15 cans per month, so the YMCA utilizes $2,000 or more to purchase formula for infants in the shelter, Jensen said.

“Our goal is to collect 100 cans of baby formula or enough money to purchase baby formula to donate to the YWCA Domestic Violence Shelter in SLC,” Jensen said. “By providing baby formula to the YWCA, we are able to offset the amount of money they would need to spend on baby formula and reallocate those funds to other needs of the residents in the shelter.”

Carol Merrill, director of the WSU Women’s Center, said this drive is one of the many resources on campus and in the community that help provide for women and children.

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