Texas mother creates Facebook group to help parents locate baby formula

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A Texas mother has created a Facebook group for families to notify one another of stores with baby formula in stock as the U.S. is grappling with a shortage.

Jennifer Walton, a mother of a 6-month-old girl, created the online community once she began struggling to find the product.

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Shelves typically stocked with baby formula sit mostly empty at a store in San Antonio, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. Parents across the U.S. are scrambling to find baby formula because supply disruptions and a massive safety recall have swept many leading ((AP Photo/Eric Gay) / AP Newsroom)

"I got really, really mad," Walton told WFAA. "And I said, 'well, I'm going to do what I can to fix it.'"

The Facebook group, called "Formula Fed Babies," gained more than 2,400 members in less than two weeks.

Most of the group's members are from north Texas, although the group is open to anyone, Walton told the local outlet.

"We've got people in Louisiana, Nebraska, Colorado. I'm shipping some formula to a lady in South Carolina today that she needed, and so it's definitely reached nationwide," she said.

She urges everyone to join the group, regardless of whether they are in need of baby formula.

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Baby formula is used to nourish babies when breast milk is not a possibility or is in short supply. (iStock / iStock)

Anyone who goes to a grocery store can go to the baby formula aisle, take a photo of how much is left on the shelves, and upload it to the Facebook group with a location, so families in need can find where the product is available.

"People are uploading pictures with a time stamp and a location, because our WIC parents that are needing to buy formula with their vouchers can't pay a person back. We're definitely trying to serve a wide range of individuals," Walton said.

She makes two posts a day to which people can reply. One thread is for families "In Search Of" baby formula, and the other is for "Available Formula."

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A due to limited supplies sign is shown on the baby formula shelf at a grocery store Tuesday, May 10, 2022, in Salt Lake City.  ((AP Photo/Rick Bowmer) / AP Newsroom)

Walton is optimistic that the formula shortage will be resolved soon and that her Facebook group will no longer be needed.

"I want this group to be completely defunct and unnecessary," she said.

The nationwide shortage has worsened recently following a voluntary recall of specific powdered formulas from Abbott Nutrition. The recall was issued after complaints that four babies who consumed products made from the Sturgis, Michigan, facility became sick with a bacterial infection. Two of the babies later died.

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The company said in a statement earlier this month that it could be months before its Sturgis plant will be able to supply stores with the product after the recall forced it to cease operations at the facility, which closed in February.

Abbott also recently said that "there is no evidence to link our formulas to these infant illnesses."

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