NewsLocal News


Genesee County nonprofit organization trying to curb baby formula shortage by collecting donations for families

"We don't want to have these families have the additional stress they are under."
Amino acid-based formula
Posted at 5:28 PM, May 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-13 17:34:23-04

BATAVIA, N.Y. (WKBW) — It may take Abbott Laboratories between six to eight weeks to get baby formula products back on store shelves, once it restarts production.

Pending permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Michigan-based baby formula manufacturer will restart production, within two weeks.

Abbott said it is addressing the Food and Drug Administration's issues with the plant, and it is flying in Similac from Ireland. If the FDA OK's the reopening of the Sturgis plant, Abbott's plan would be to first start producing EleCare, Alimentum, and metabolic formulas, then Similac and other formulas, according to Market Watch.

All Babies Cherished Ministries executive director, Sue Sherman (left) and program coordinator, Mona Doyon (right) labeling and storing donated baby formula at the nonprofit's building.

"We don't want to have these families have the additional stress they are under, because they possibly can't feed their child,” All Babies Ministries executive director, Sue Sherman said.

PREVIOUS STORY: WNY experts warn parents not to create homemade baby formula amid shortage

All Babies Cherished Ministries executive director Sue Sherman said volunteers are working around the clock, to ensure enough baby formula is provided to mothers in Genesee County and surrounding areas.

"We have a lot of gals in the community, we found out, that have children with GI issues, where their bodies just can't process the milk-based formulas,” Sherman said.

The donor-based nonprofit is now accepting any and all baby formula brands. They are putting an emphasis on the amino acid-based formula because it's hard to find in stores right now.

"Their doctors are recommending when they find that they can't take a milk-based formula, they are recommending these amino acid-based formulas. They're thriving on them. They do well. By the time they are a year-old, you never knew that they had issues,” Sherman said.

Mercy Hospital pediatrician, Dr. Donald Pickhardt, is warning not to treat this like The Great Toilet Paper Panic because this will make the community suffer longer.

Amino acid-based baby formula is hard to find in stores. All Babies Cherished Ministries is collecting this kind of formula for babies with gastrointestinal issues.

Doctor Pickhardt said, I think there's relief coming in the coming weeks. Bear in mind that there are babies out there that can't get that. So, get what you need to get for a week or two, or three at the very most."

Because unopened formula in powder form has a shelf life of up to 18 months, Sherman is asking people who no longer need theirs to donate it to the ministry.

"Sometimes moms have children that happen to be a year-old, and they have a supply that they have in stock and they no longer need it. We would be glad to take it because we will find the moms who need that formula,” Sherman said.

Anyone who is able can drop off unopened baby formula at their location on 445 Ellicott Street, in Batavia.

The location is usually open from 9:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays, and then from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays. Hours are limited so if these times do not fit your schedule, you can call ahead to drop off a donation.