by Marilyn Gore
L.I.F.E. Houston is the city's only food bank for babies. Since 1988, their emergency formula assistance program has helped ensure that the cost of formula does not prohibit families from accessing nutrition essential for their infant’s first year of life.
Having a new baby can be joyous, but also difficult for families. In addition to the financial costs, families also deal with stress from changed schedules, lack of sleep, and all the other stressors that come from having a newborn. By providing emergency infant formula and access to the right nutrition to families with infants, L.I.F.E. Houston helps ensure that all Houston-area families can give their babies a strong start in life.
One L.I.F.E. Houston client, a young mother, had just started a new job and moved into a new place when her purse was stolen. Her rent money, WIC card, and identification were all gone. She had a hungry baby and few people to turn to in this immediate crisis. Her WIC office referred her to L.I.F.E. Houston for assistance. After her visit, she shared her relief in finding help: "Thanks to L.I.F.E. Houston my baby now has formula and diapers. It's truly a blessing for people to find it in their hearts to help me in my time of need."
By providing over 97,000 bottles to families in 2019, L.I.F.E. Houston helped over 1,500 Houston-area families experience less stress related to feeding their children, a primary concern for new families with limited funds. Reducing stress among parents and caregivers can help facilitate strong attachment between baby and their important caregivers, which is crucial for babies' healthy growth and development.