RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Frustrations are mounting as the baby formula shortage rages on.
A nationwide recall of several powdered infant formulas, combined with supply chain issues, has created a nightmare for parents who are often met with empty shelves and few options.
But it was those frustrations that drove Richmond moms, Ashley Escobar and Ashley Whitt, to find a new way to help parents scrambling to feed their babies.
Their solution? “The RVA Formula Exchange.”
“Everyone going around looking for formula for everyone, it’s so helpful,” Whitt said.
The ‘exchange’ is a Facebook page to connect parents in Central Virginia to helpful resources amid the shortage. Throughout the day, dozens of posts flood the page sharing where formula can be found, and what brand it is- some people even offer to pick it up for those in need.
“Most of the people who post are running around during the day from store to store, showing us what’s on the shelves and what’s not,” Whitt said. “Others are just giving it away which is super kind.”
Whitt said the page was originally created in January when signs first began popping up that formula could soon become hard to come by.
However, over the course of a month, the page has grown exponentially from a few hundred members to nearly 2,000. Each member serves as another resource for support and tips on how to manage this challenging time.
“It’s important for everyone to see the hope on the page,” Whitt said. “It’s going to get better just going to take some time.”
In an effort to keep the page safe, only parents in Central Virginia will be accepted. The administrators are also constantly monitoring for potential scammers.
Whitt and Escobar said the group has been a humbling experience, but they are thankful for the community support.
“We’re so thankful for everyone who has shared the page and joined the page to help everybody,” Whitt said.
To join the page, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/rvaformulexchange.