It’s no news that street food is synonymous with delicious specialties, but an Ape car collecting and distributing human milk for newborn babies is totally unprecedented!
It is called Human Milk Link and is Europe’s first donor breast milk collection service:, carried out with the “Milk Ape Car” designed by VS Veicoli Speciali. A truly unusual and innovative on-the-road project, which combines the notion of nutrition (a mother’s milk is the ancestral food par excellence) and a social purpose. The aim of the initiative, in fact, is to promote the donation of human milk, a precious life-saving food for preterm babies.
Promoted by the Italian Association of Donor Human Milk Banks (Associazione Italiana Banche del Latte Umano Donato – Aiblud) in collaboration with Sitar, a company that sponsors the initiative, the Human Milk Link project was presented at the Expo and will be inaugurated in Milan in October. The service will soon be replicated in Rome, Turin, Florence, Bari and Palermo according to the same modalities.
The Milan Milk Ape Car collects milk from new mothers who have adhered to the initiative, keeps in a refrigerated compartment aboard the vehicle and, at the end of the day, delivers it to the milk banks of Lombardy, where it is pasteurised before it is distributed for free to hospitals, for use by babies with medical need.
Human milk is indubitably the best food for babies during their first months of life, providing protection from the nutritional, immunologic and metabolic viewpoints, and preventing many disorders. For preterm babies and newborns with medical problems human milk is life-saving. Precisely on account of its unique characteristics, it cannot be replaced by any other type of milk.
Many mothers do not know that they can donate some of their milk, even in small quantities, without fear of depriving their own children of the nourishment they need. Each drop is important and can save a life, especially if the milk comes from a mother who gave birth a few weeks before. Oftentimes, the mothers of premature babies cannot produce a sufficient quantity of milk, due to stress and the child having to stay in hospital for a prolonged period of time.