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INDIANAPOLIS — Empty shelves are a familiar sight many know all too well.
“It’s kind of a panic situation right now,” said Ashley Burns with the Indiana Diaper Bank.
With baby formula in short supply, families are scrambling to find any sort of relief.
The Indiana Diaper Bank, which works with numerous non-profits in the community, says its partners are constantly getting calls from families in need.
While the organization doesn’t purchase baby formula, it does accept donations through the community. In its latest round of formula donations, Burns said they had about 30 cans and bottles to split among 10 of its partner groups.
“Within like an hour, it was all gone,” she said.
One local mother said desperation is growing.
“People are begging, like do you have this formula? Do you see this formula? If you see this formula, please let me know,” said Allexa Antrobus.
Antrobus is also a mother, and while her son is no longer on formula, she said social media shows plenty who are.
“I’ve looked online a couple of times and noticed there is not a group for Indiana specifically,” she said.
Antrobus started the Indiana Formula Shortage Help Group on Facebook. Within a day of launching, the group already had more than 100 members.
“If there’s one location that everyone can go to to look for help, I wanted that group to be that for that reason,” she said.
Antrobus said the group welcomes any and everyone, whether you’re a parent with extra formula to spare or a regular shopper who spots supply out at the store.
“It’s so easy and quick and simple, wherever you’re at, to just take a picture, post it in the group, the date and time, where you’re at, the location,” said Antrobus. “It’s very powerful and it helps people.”
The Milk Bank, which is a non-profit tissue bank, collects breastmilk or human milk from donor moms. Organizers say every donation is screened, analyzed, pasteurized, bottled and distributed to its best nutritional value.
Organizers say The Milk Bank is an alternative to consider as options seem limited during the shortage.
“Of course, we are here to support families who are breastfeeding. If maybe you are supplementing with formula, and you want help increasing your supply, we have lactation counselors on staff,” said Jenna Streit with The Milk Bank. “In addition, if you have a child who was on a special formula, a specialty formula or has a medical condition, we want to ensure that the milk they receive is safe, and we’d encourage you to reach out to The Milk Bank to see if we can help during this time.”
Streit said they are also looking for more donors.