Our Cooperative operates two donor milk donation programs – Milk Money and Pay It Forward. Donors can participate in one or both of the programs. Learn more below.
Could you use some extra money and have surplus breast milk? Our program Milk Money could be a good fit. Milk Money participants earn $1/oz supplied to the MMC. Payments are issued via direct deposit (*the first is by check), 90 days after the milk is received.
Having a baby is an expensive joy and sometimes a little extra money can go a long way. Too many of us have no other choice but to return to work early after the birth of our babies. Whether Milk Money helps cover diaper expenses, a date night, a college fund, puts food on the table or contributes to the rent, we believe in empowering women by giving them the opportunity to make money from home.
Pay It Forward
Philanthropy is a central element of our mission at MMC, and we are proud to offer our "Pay It Forward" program! Rather than receiving payment, donors can choose to provide milk to Pay It Forward and gift their milk donations to a baby in need.
Families who have a baby in need of donor milk may apply for assistance through Pay It Forward. Based on the quantity of milk donated to this program, we are able to provide low cost or free donor milk to families with an extreme financial hardship and donor milk need. A portion of the milk donated will be retained, processed and sold to fund this program.
Can’t choose between Milk Money and Pay It Forward? You don’t have to! Donors may send a portion of milk to both programs in some or all coolers. The choice is yours!
How Do I Become a Donor Member?
If you are a healthy, nursing mother (including exclusive pumpers) with an abundant supply of breast milk and your baby is at least three months of age*, you are a good candidate to become a breast milk donor and member of the MMC.
Step 1: Apply for membership. You will be prompted to fill out a medical questionnaire, which will be reviewed by our Medical Reviewer. This is the first step of ensuring safety of the milk supply. Our Medical Reviewer will notify you by email regarding the status of your questionnaire within approximately 5-10 business days.
Step 2: Once your medical questionnaire is approved, you are pre-qualified and will soon receive a blood test kit via FedEx (all shipping is prepaid!) to complete blood screening. Our partners for blood screening are LabCorp (to complete the draw), and American Red Cross (testing).
There are no member fees, but in order to offset membership benefits, qualification and testing expenses, we do request a “milk commitment” of 100 oz. This amount will be deducted from your first shipment only. It helps to ensure that more nursing mothers are able to participate in our programs.
Step 3: Once your blood testing has been completed (about 5-7 days after shipping the kit to the Red Cross), you will be notified about your results. If approved, you will receive an email congratulating you on becoming a new active donor and member of the MMC, and instructing you on how to request your first cooler.
Step 4: Once approved, you are eligible to request your first cooler via your donor profile to ship milk. Each cooler holds approximately 300-450 oz. The minimum shipping amount per cooler is 300 oz. It is important to follow this guideline to prevent milk thawing. Our lead time on coolers can vary from 2-3 weeks to several months depending on demand.
Step 5: Your milk is received by our facility and you are notified via email of the ounces we received. Your milk will be tested upon arrival for bacteria levels and compliance with the MMC Member Agreement. If you have donated to Milk Money, you can expect payment on the first Friday 90 days after milk is received. Up to date milk information is available on your donor profile!
*Please understand that if you are currently nursing a baby, you must wait until the baby reaches three months of age before beginning milk donation. This is to ensure that each baby has a sufficient supply of his/ her mother's own milk. If there are extenuating circumstances please contact the MMC with any questions.
Donor Milk and Bacteria Testing
Please note that milk shipments found to contain high levels of bacteria or adulteration will not be accepted as donor milk and will not be eligible for payment. If your milk is found to have high levels of bacteria, we will work with you to resolve the issue. Once we have resolved the bacteria issue, you may resume donation to Milk Money.
Some common causes of high bacteria:
- Using an older kit
- Infrequent or inadequate kit/hand washing
- Storing your kit in the refrigerator after use rather than washing
- Pumping in the bathroom
While high bacteria levels are not very common, it does happen. The best way to prevent this from happening to you is by following the manufacturer's guidelines on washing your breast pump kit and practicing good hygiene at home. We are always happy to share and discuss your results with you and to answer any questions you might have.