Many local organizations accept donations and match the formula to needy parents. The salvation army is one such charitable organization. You can locate them in your area for details on where to drop off your unopened and in-date and not opened and expired cans of formula samples. Many other churches also have collection boxes so that you can drop the formula off whenever. However, food banks are not legally authorized to receive and distribute baby formula because of safety concerns. Still, most diaper banks, as well as other organizations in various states, do accept baby formula donations.
The baby formula shortage that began in early 2022, spurred by Covid-19-related supply chain issues and the voluntary recall of baby formula from the makers of Similac baby products, Abbot Laboratories, is hitting new parents hard.
The prolonged supply shortage has left parents wondering how to navigate the situation and obtain the much-needed formula for their babies.
The little ones quickly go through various cans of formula, and those utterly dependent on it need it more than those who are at least still breastfeeding.
Even if somehow it’s available, the cost implications are too much to handle.
But what can you do with leftover formula when your baby has moved to solid food? Donate it.
Where and how can I donate baby formula?
It can be challenging to find places that will take donations of baby formula.
But, If you have samples of baby formula you would like to donate, you need to search your area to learn where to do so.
Below is a list of nonprofit organizations and social media forums across the US that allow the donation of baby formula.
1. Contact your local food bank
Food banks are nationally recognized family resource centers that assist low-income and homeless families.
They offer a variety of programs to help families become healthy, stable, and self-sufficient.
Usually, they don’t take or distribute baby formula donations. Still, since the formula shortage hitch, they have begun to receive and pair up the formula donations with the parents of our youngest members of the community-babies and infants.
But in a nutshell, to follow Unicef guidelines, food banks like the Trussell Trust are refusing formula donations so as not to be guilty of encouraging women to give up breastfeeding.
2. The Salvation Army
If you have baby milk formula you would like to donate, many local organizations accept donations and match the formula to parents in need.
The salvation army is one such charitable organization accepting baby formula donations.
The food pantry continues to operate in emergency disaster service mode, which means anyone who needs assistance qualifies, including those on food stamps.
While they need and welcome canned food donations, they are in short supply of infant commodities, like baby formula and diapers.
Locate the salvation army in your area for details on where to drop off your baby formula donations.
3. Social media and regional mom groups
While exploring ways to help parents and children needing baby formula, remember the power of local parents.
Networking with other parents could be an intelligent way to find centers and organizations that take the much-needed formula and distribute it to needy parents.
Social media groups are also helpful resources; many now turn to these online forums for help locating and donating formula milk.
Many social media groups are geared toward local parents, which is a great place to start.
Freecycle, Craigslist, moms helping moms, and Facebook Marketplace are social media platforms useful for formula donations. Here, parents offer to donate or give away baby formula they can no longer use.
They choose to donate because their baby may have an intolerance or they switched brands.
These social groups organize baby formula donations and match parents with the formula their little ones need.
Also, depending on where you live, local hospital systems may be a brilliant place to check if you can drop your baby formula donations.
Research to see if this root is an option in your area.
Can infant formula donations be harmful?
Yes. Donations of infant formula might pose harm in several ways, including;
- Handing out formula milk to all families with infants can send the wrong message to breastfeeding women that their milk is not enough.
- When breastfeeding women start using infant formula during an emergency, they might breastfeed less, leading to a lower milk supply.
- Donated infant formula is sometimes distributed without first assessing who needs it most and without providing feeding supplies or education on self-preparation and storage.
- When families recover from the infant formula crisis, they may be unable to afford the continued use of infant formula.
- Without proper education on self-preparation, families might dilute or water down a baby formula to make it last longer. This improper preparation is dangerous and reduces the quality of nutrients the baby will receive at each feeding, and the child might end up malnourished.
Can I donate opened formula?
No. Unfortunately, you can not donate open, half-used baby formula as they pose vast contamination risks.
But instead of throwing it away, you can feed it to your pets, use it to make baby recipes, or use it in your garden as it creates an excellent fertilizer for your plants.
Can I donate formula to food banks?
No. Because of babies’ health and safety concerns, food banks do not distribute infant formula.
Food banks can only offer families food for parents and older children, helping to ease the financial burden on those struggling.
Can I sell baby formula?
Yes. You can sell any baby formula acquired legally, not through government programs like WIC.
It violates federal regulations to attempt to gift or sell formula milk that you obtained through the program.
Where can we find formula milk during a shortage?
If there’s a formula shortage in your area, stay calm. There could be a run on formula at your local store, but you will still find your baby’s formula.
You can search for formula milk through online retailers, local shops, drug stores, and baby supply stores.
You can also talk to your pediatrician or your local hospital. Some healthcare providers might have formula samples they can give out, or they’ll likely be able to point you in the right direction.
You can also consider switching brands if your baby doesn’t necessarily require a specific type.