Tampa, Fla. (WFLA) – Tough times call for desperate measures amid a nationwide shortage of infant formula. Mothers in Tampa Bay are turning to social media to find food for their babies, and others are helping.
The shelves of baby formula at major retailers are mostly empty. Some mothers are now turning to social media sites for help.
“Real posts — just people saying, ‘hey I need help,’ and others will say, ‘I can help you here,’” says Steffany Rodriguez-Neely.
Rodriguez-Neely created the Tampa Bay Moms Group on Facebook over a decade ago to help connect moms in the community. It has more than 7,000 members who are helping each other in an online shortage.
Recent posts like this: “Does anyone have cans to spare? My niece doesn’t have formula, and my sister can’t find it anywhere” and “If anyone wants it – you can get it from me. ”
“It’s really serious for kids with special needs, they need a special formula,” she said. “My son was one of those kids, so if this had happened two years ago we would probably have been in the hospital by now.”
Craigslist listings have also appeared, including one listing eight cans of formula for $65.
“There’s this level of anonymity when you’re dealing with people you don’t know… at least on our team we have a check system in place,” says Rodriguez-Neely.
It is estimated that more than 40% of popular baby formulas nationwide are out of stock. The government has set up a website to help families, and the Biden administration has said it will push ahead with red tape cutting to help formula companies produce formula faster. It has vowed to import formula from abroad.
Rodriguez-Neely said it took a village and mothers to successfully help each other through this challenging time.
“It’s really crazy to see everyone coming together because it really costs a village, especially when you’re in crisis,” she said.
https://www.wfla.com/news/local-news/tampa-bay-moms-connect-on-social-media-amid-baby-formula-shortage/ Tampa Bay moms connect on social media amid baby formula shortage