Parents teaming up for formula exchange amid shortage

Health

(NewsNation) — Amid President Joe Biden invoking the Defense Production Act to speed up infant formula production, some parents have developed their own strategies to combat the production.

Parents say the help isn’t coming soon enough. So many babies go through a can of formula every three days, and finding just one can has become nearly impossible — now, parents across the nation are teaming up to send each other formula.

Parents like Maria Hernandez are struggling to feed their little ones now that baby formula is nowhere to be found. While there’s relief on the way, parents need help now, and they’re finding it online.

“I don’t even know how we’re going to survive all of this,” Hernandez said. “This morning, I was able to go to one of the stores and get two cans of her formula that thanks to the group,” Hernandez said.

Parents are using social media pages to track down baby formula and find out which stores still have it.

Shawn Johnson, a two-time Olympian, and her husband, a retired NFL player, recently ran out of formula for their baby. They posted about it on Instagram and the post went viral.

“A friend of a friend actually connected me to her friend in Pittsburgh who was able to find and ship it to me. So that got us thinking, is there a way we can connect all of you to other mamas who have formula,” Johnson explained in the video post.

They created the Baby Formula Exchange, a program that matches parents who have formula with parents who still need it.

Meanwhile, other online parent groups are popping up in nearly every community. In Florida, one mom started a similar page during the pandemic’s peak to help people find vaccines; now, she’s using the page to help moms find formula.

“I used to be a single mom many, many years ago, and I know what it’s like, even in normal circumstances, to have some challenges,” said Katherine Quirk. “If I can help one then person then my job has been done.”

And it seems to be working: Parents are being matched with formula donors daily, yet the supply is dangerously low.

“I definitely have a fear that it’s going to get worse before it gets better,” Quirk said.

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