WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — They helped find senior citizens COVID-19 vaccine appointments at the height of the pandemic. Now moms are stepping up again to help other moms feed their babies during the nationwide baby formula shortage.
The saying goes it takes a village to raise a child. That is especially true right now as parents struggle to find formula for their babies.
It's a desperate situation, but two Facebook groups have been created only days ago and already have hundreds of members.
It's been nearly 15 years since Katherine Quirk has had a toddler, but this mom and nurse said she couldn't just sit back and watch as new parents try to navigate through a nationwide baby formula shortage.
"We love the community helping each other. In a difficult time there's nothing more important than coming together," Quirk said.
That's what Quirk did when the COVID-19 vaccine was first being rolled out and supply was low. She started a Facebook group, helping seniors get a coveted vaccine appointment.
Now the focus is on feeding newborns.
"Knowing that there's so many kids that have gastrointestinal issues that they need certain kinds of formula or only one formula works," Quirk said.
So last week she started the Facebook group, South Florida Baby Formula Info, helping parents in Broward and Palm Beach counties find formula, with many store shelves practically empty.
"There's nothing more desperate than a parent trying to figure out where they're going to get food from for their child," said Nikki Klein, who also pitched in.
"What we're finding is that parents are going across town, going across different parts of the area, and they're taking photographs of shelves and they're putting it in the group to let people know where there's availability," Klein said.
Since the pages have been started, we're told moms have been sharing any extra formula with one another and are alerting one another when a shipment is expected at a store.
A vital resource for a new parent during a national crisis.
"Some people are actually buying formula and posting it in the group for parents if they see it, so it's an amazing connection," Klein said.
The moms are trying to get the word out about the groups to help more people. They have already helped a number of parents.