A Calgary not-for-profit group is celebrating one year of collecting breast milk for babies in need. (CBC)

The Calgary Mothers’ Milk Bank has received double the donations it expected after being in operation for one year.     

The not-for-profit organization takes in donated milk from breastfeeding mothers, screens and pasteurizes it and then distributes it to premature babies and others who need it.

In the bank’s first year, 180 mothers donated milk.

Executive director Jannette Festival said she would like to see the program expand with the province’s help.

The cost of the milk is covered for babies who are in hospital, but it costs $4 an ounce for those at home, she said.

"It would still be nice to get some funding eventually, if not for the milk bank but to help cover the costs for moms who need milk but are outside of the hospital system," she said.

Eva Garlinski donated extra milk for four months after her son was born.

"If there's even the smallest step you can take, something like this to help them along the way, then you know it's a reward unto itself," she said.