ORLANDO, Fla. - As families frantically search to find baby formula amid the nationwide shortage, a Facebook group is helping moms in Central Florida locate what they need for their infants.
The "Finding Formula" Facebook group is filled with parents who are looking for formula and those who have extra cans/bottles to give. The group has close to 200 members, posting updates daily.
"This is just a spot for people to connect and help one another in this unprecedented time for our babies," the ‘About’ section states.
Winter Garden mom Sierra Clemmons started the group a few weeks ago.
"We want to feed our babies of course, so it's just – you’re always scanning the shelves. An extra added stress in this time, which is unnecessary," Clemmons said.
Clemmons has a six-month-old daughter, and she says tracking down her baby’s formula has become increasingly difficult lately.
"It just kind of just evolved from there of… I need help and starting the Facebook group maybe would help others like me," she said.
Strangers have been taking to social media over the past few weeks as cans of baby formula become scarce and store shelves remain empty. The supply of formula has dropped 40 percent since April thanks to supply chain issues and a recall at a manufacturing facility.
Florida mom Ariel Geeraerts told FOX 35 News her 2-year-old daughter gets all of her nutrients from formula. The toddler, who has a rare disorder, is fed through a tube.
"She coded a lot when she first was born. So we almost lost her a lot. To lose her to starving to death would be horrendous," Geeraerts said.
Geeraerts says she’s turned to online communities for leads.
"I had people messaging me going, ‘I found it! Can I ship it to you?’ I’m like, ‘Yes, please!’ We’ve been able to get it tracked down through social media," she explained.
Paytin Pogue says she’s also found help on Facebook.
"I thought I was crazy - but a mom's got to do what a mom's got to do for her son," Pogue said.
Abbott Nutrition has finally provided a timeline for when new stock from its shuttered Sturgis, Michigan, baby formula manufacturing facility could hit store shelves in the U.S.: At least two months.
"Subject to [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] approval, we could restart the site within two weeks," the company said in a statement. "We would begin production of EleCare, Alimentum and metabolic formulas first and then begin production of Similac and other formulas. From the time we restart the site, it will take six to eight weeks before product is available on shelves."
Doctors say parents should consider different brands of formula. They say you should never try and make your own at home.