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Campaign for L.I.F.E.

The skyrocketing cost of infant formula has taken on a very personal meaning for Marq and Elizabeth Lipton, who welcomed their first grandchild last year.

That’s why the couple founded a special fund with Second Harvest Food Bank specifically for the purchase of infant formula, and have so far raised more than $10,000. This fund, called L.I.F.E. (Lipton Infant Formula Endowment) is also supported by Google and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, where Marq was vice president of marketing and sales until August 2021. He is now an executive adviser to the Boardwalk’s parent company.

Many people may not realize that babies drink about 25 ounces of formula a day, and for most young infants, it’s their only source of nourishment. Parents are paying around 54 cents an ounce for cheaper brands, and $1.15 an ounce for more expensive ones. That has increased the cost of feeding a baby to between $411 and $874 a month, according to Some families in Santa Cruz County, already weighed down by higher costs from inflation and increased rents, simply can’t afford higher prices for formula as well.

Supply chain issues in recent months have pushed up the cost of infant formula nationwide, and the burden is especially being felt by families who are already struggling. That’s why the Liptons’ fund is so important right now in providing this scarce resource to parents in need.

Marq, who has served as Second Harvest Board Chair, on various committees, and is currently on The Food Bank’s Advisory Board, was aware of the community need for formula, but the realization of how vital this was hit home when his grandchild was born earlier this year.

The situation got him thinking about local families who can’t afford formula, let alone find it. Marq and Elizabeth, along with family members Sue Lee and Aaron Lipton, and Michael and Katie Lipton, started up the L.I.F.E. fund to provide much needed formula so infants do not go hungry in our community.

For more information, or to help  Santa Cruz county families who need infant formula, please click here.