In the post-pandemic world, supply chain issues and product recalls have created a baby formula shortage that has hit families in the United States hard. Babies are among the most vulnerable humans, and many parents have been left wondering what to do.
What can you do to aid in this crisis? Should you donate breast milk or buy baby formula online to give to families in need?
Here are a few specific ways you can help ease the burden on families trying to keep their babies nourished and healthy.
1. Buy Baby Formula Online
The baby formula supply issue has led to the need to be more creative with shopping. The online marketplace can help alleviate the formula supply issue, especially when looking outside the United States.
Companies such as A2 Nutrition are providing high-quality milk-based products for infants and toddlers. Their online shop makes it simple and easy to buy baby formula online and assists friends and family members you know who are struggling with the shortage.
2. Donate Breast Milk or Help Recruit Potential Suppliers
There are multiple breast milk banks across the nation that accept mother’s milk in order to help babies in need. If you’re a breastfeeding mother with a little extra to give or with an older baby who is ready to consume less, consider donating to a milk bank.
If you’re not a breastfeeding mother, do you know anyone who is? Depending on their general health, they may be a candidate for assisting with the supply. Help facilitate the connection with a local or national milk bank.
If you don’t fall into either of the above categories, you may be able to volunteer your time to help make a difference.
3. Donate Any Unopened Canisters of Baby Formula
As your toddler gets older, you may find that you end up with excess formula canisters or samples. Check your pantry for any leftovers that you don’t need and ensure they’re not expired. Ask around your local community for food banks, food closets, or birth centers that are accepting formula donations.
If you don’t find a good resource, it may be time to create one. Reach out to local charitable organizations, mom groups, daycare centers, and other parents in your area and start a formula collection drive to help those in need in your local community.
4. When You Find Formula, Spread The Word or Donate
Most grocery stores are wiped out of their baby and toddler formula supply as soon as it hits the shelves. Many are limiting the amount that can be purchased at once. This means it’s time to think outside the box!
Drug stores, pharmacies, and even home stores also carry small amounts of formula and are less likely to be heavily shopped. When you spot formula in stock, purchase a few cans to donate to friends, family, or food banks, and alert relevant contacts, so they know where to find it.
5. Offer Support
The families who are hit the hardest by this food shortage are likely to be under a lot of stress and concern for their children. Simply being there for those you personally know or volunteering your time at a local food pantry can make a world of difference. This second option allows you to reach out to those you know and those you don’t know.
It Takes a Village
The old adage “it takes a village” rings especially true during this baby formula crisis. Together, we can beat the supply shortage and help vulnerable families in need!