CANTON, Mich. – A Grandmother in Canton said she searched all over the stores across Metro Detroit for the baby formula her grandson needed.
She took a trip to Plymouth and Ann Arbor and found the same results.
“I don’t know what to say to you,” said Randa Hourani. “God bless you.”
Hourani felt gratitude and relief after receiving the formula her family needed to feed her three-month-old grandson.
“I went everywhere,” Hourani said.
“I can’t imagine as a mom that had formula fed to my own child, it’s heartbreaking to think about going to the store and not having what your baby needs,” said Doula Heather Maine.
Because of Doulas like Maine and Kate Nagle, Hourani has something to feed her grandson.
“We decided we were going to do whatever to help get these kids fed,” said Nagle.
Nagle and Maine, both moms themselves, put out a call on Facebook, asking other moms with unused formula or forgotten about sample packs to leave them on the porch, and they will do the rest.
As soon as the Doulas arrive at the charitable homes for pick-ups, they gather what items are given and drop them off to the parents in need.
“He called and said, ‘I have twins, we have their nighttime bottles, and we don’t have anything for them in the morning,’” Nagle said.
Both women never imagined their role in supporting new families would mean securing food, But, here they are. Nagle and Maine are Doulas who’ve been working to support families with new babies for years.
They cover a lot of ground but never expected they would be trying to help families track down formula to feed their babies.
“As a mom who has formula fed to my own child, it’s heartbreaking to think about going to the store and not having what your baby needs,” said Maine.
Nagle says she saw parents posting about specific formulas being out of stock at stores and parents asking others to be on the lookout.
“When you go to Target, and there’s only four cans of formula, and it’s a really random kind I’ve never heard of, you know it’s a problem,” said Nagle.
People have been reaching out, and the Doulas have been driving all over Metro Detroit to pick it up and give it out to families in need for free.
“We decided we were going to do whatever to help get these kids fed,” Nagle said.
They’re giving out the formulas to the parents that are in need as soon as they’re picking them up from those that have chosen to help.
With many shelves empty, even the most determined caregivers aren’t having any luck.
“28 different stores unsuccessfully,” Nagle said.
But luckily for them, help is coming their way in all forms ranging from breastfeeding moms willing to pump extra milk for babies in need to people who aren’t parents at all.
“We’ve had people just willing to go out, like ‘what do you need? I’ll go see if I can find it right now,’” Maine said.
It will take all of that and more to help keep all babies who need food fed.
“I’m blown away at the amount of togetherness I’ve seen,” Maine said.
Federal regulators are working closely with Abbott labs to reopen its Michigan plant, which closed after that Similac recall. But it could be weeks still before parents see any relief.
Officials are urging parents not to make their own formula, but instead, they suggest reaching out to your doctor’s office or the moms Local 4 News spoke to Monday night.
If you cannot find formula, you can reach them at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org or by text at 734-531-9531.
In case you were wondering, they’re doing all of this for free.