BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Alabama’s first nonprofit milk depot, the Mothers’ Milk Bank Of Alabama, has opened in Birmingham.

Its goal is to collect milk from lactating mothers and distribute it to babies being treated in neonatal intensive care units.

The milk will be bottled and then shipped to a north Texas milk bank for pasteurization, organizers said in a release Wednesday. After that, the milk will be distributed to neonatal intensive care units to 10 states in the South, organizers said.

“The generosity of mothers who donate their excess breast milk lets us feed the most fragile babies, primarily premature infants and those with life-threatening conditions or allergies, safely and compassionately,” Amy Vickers, Executive Director of the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas said in a release.

For now, Mothers’ Milk Bank of Alabama will only serve as a collection site, said executive director for the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama Mary Kelly. The goal is that the Alabama site will eventually transition into a local bank to serve babies in Birmingham hospitals after funding and equipment is secured.

Officials at the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas say 475 women are currently donating surplus milk but organizers estimate the nonprofit needs more than 805 donors to meet this year’s projected demand.

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