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How the formula shortage affects nonprofits that work with moms and babies

It's not just parents searching for formula. Nonprofits that work with families in need are also worried about meeting demand.

AURORA, Colo. — The baby formula shortage started early in the pandemic, but has gotten worse due to labor shortages and a major product recall.

And its not just parents searching for formula. Nonprofits that work with families in need are also worrying about meeting demand.

“Something really unique that has happened, and heartbreaking, Not only are our recipients needing formula, but also I’ve had donors reach out and ask for particular kinds of formula they can purchase via donation, which obviously we can’t do,” said Lindsey Zaback, Development Director for WeeCycle, a non-profit in Aurora that provides baby gear to families in need.

“But it just goes to show the level of despair that moms, parents, and families are feeling because they don’t know how they’re going to feed their babies.”

So far, Zaback said, WeeCycle has been able to keep its shelves stocked and meet their families’ demands. But the future is uncertain.

“Because we did notice we’re no longer able to purchase Enfamil yellow, the formula we give out the most, on our Amazon business accounts,” she said. “So we’re not really sure where we're going to get that formula to fill the void. WeeCycle serves over 800 kids a week. As you can imagine, we need a volume of formula to serve our families.”

At WeeCycle’s warehouse in Aurora, there is about a two-week supply of various formulas on the shelf. A mom of three herself, Zaback understands the real value.

“I can’t imagine driving to three or four Walmarts, two Targets, just trying to find one can of formula you need, knowing that’s going to last you one week and you’re going to be back on that same mission in a week from now trying to fill the void just to feed your child,” she said.

If anyone has formula to donate, she said WeeCycle is eager to accept it and make it available to moms in need. Anyone interested in donating can find more information on the non-profit's website.

Some good news: Food Bank of the Rockies says that organization's formula supply is still coming in as usual.

They work with hundreds of partner organizations, and just got a shipment of 4,000 pounds of formula last week.

Our website has a list of dos and don'ts for any families that cannot find their formula in stock right now.

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