San Diego

Growing Movement on Facebook Helps San Diego Parents Find Baby Formula

‘Formula Finder San Diego’ was created Wednesday and has more than 165 members

NBC Universal, Inc.

The nationwide baby formula shortage has forced parents to search near and far for formula, and there’s a local group banding together to help each other feed babies across San Diego.

The group creator, Yesenia Auer is a mom from Escondido. She is among the many mothers whose Similac baby formula got recalled after the Abbot Nutrition facility shut down in Michigan.

Auer had a hard time finding formula for her 7-month-old, Nadia.

“I was posting in my local moms’ group and I noticed posts were getting taken down or maybe lost, so I created my own group where it’s just specifically for formula,” Auer said.

She got two cans of formula that came just in time.

“Formula Finder San Diego” was created Wednesday and membership is growing by the hour. People can post pictures and locations of stores with available formulas. Parents are also swapping brands or donating cans for free.

“Already there are people saying, ‘Oh, Costco’s back in stock. I saw this, this morning.’ So, it just kind of helps, so that moms don’t have to go store to store because we don’t have a lot of time,” Auer said.

The group has been a time and cost saver that’s also easing anxiety for moms who have run out of options.

One mom who does not want to be identified told NBC 7, that family and friends across Southern California have been searching for Kirkland brand formula for three weeks.

When the mother posted in Formula Finder Thursday, a mom whose baby did not take well to that brand responded quickly, and Friday morning, that mom had two unused cans on her porch.

Another woman is going to great lengths including traveling to Mexico to help other moms find the right formula.

“There’s a mom in the group that will actually take orders for formula and she’s crossing the border and bringing it back to other moms,” Auer said.

No dads are part of the group yet, but they’re encouraged to join this small, but mighty community of parents who are living up to the proverb, “Necessity is the mother of invention”

“It’s kind of a sense of, you know, you’re not alone and you’re not the only mom going through it and there’s a little bit of comfort in that,” Auer said.

If you join the group, people are asked to not hoard baby formula. Just post pictures and locations to help families nearby get it themselves.

Be sure to check the lot number of the baby formula you do find to make sure it’s not on the recall list or expired.

The FDA recommends consumers look at the lot code, a multidigit number on the bottom of a container of Similac, Alimentum and EleCare powdered infant formula and do not use if:

  • The first two digits are 22 through 37
  • The code on the container contains K8, SH or Z2
  • The expiration date is 4-1-2022 (APR 2022) or later.

Abbott Nutrition has also recalled Similac PM 60/40 with a lot code of 27032K80 (can) / 27032K800 (case).

You can also enter your product’s lot number on the company’s website to check if it’s part of the recall.

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