Years ago Brian Layton, previous President of the St. Albert Food Bank, identified a need in the community. He saw that some new moms leaving the hospital after giving birth were facing food insecurities and had challenges in providing enough formula for their babies.
Brian made a proposal to the Board of Directors of the St. Albert Food Bank to initiate an Infant Formula Program. The Board were enthusiastic and provided significant financial backing in order to kick-start the Program. With assistance of Diane Plouffe of the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Brian organized the distribution of vouchers to mothers in need of assistance, by establishing partnerships with social agencies and hospitals in St. Albert and Edmonton.
In 2013, the Infant Formula Program officially partnered with Edmonton's Food Bank and changed the delivery of service away from voucher to actual cans of formula along with a full layette (St. Albert Food Bank and Community Village) coupons (Edmonton's Food Bank) and the Hugs & Stitches Quilters Group make baby quilts for each layette given in St. Albert, baby bottles and, of course, diapers.
The clients are able to receive the full package of formula, bottles, coupons, and layette for their first visit and then they are welcome to return on a weekly basis for formula. The family can receive the formula through the Program until the age of 3 months and then the family is transferred over as a Food Bank client. The clients are also supported through appropriate community resources to ensure that all of their concerns are being addressed.