MANSFIELD, TX – As families across the country struggle to find formula on their shelves, a North Texas restaurant has started handing out formula to those who can’t find it.
Many Metroplex moms are logging on via social media, all in the same boat looking for baby formula.
“I literally went on a scavenger hunt,” her mother Sha’Mikka Tenner said.
Tenner is terrified.
On Sunday, she was down to her last box of formula for her 2-month-old daughter, Journey.
“We were everywhere. I live in Keller. So we were in Dallas, Plano. We literally looked everywhere and it was depressing,” she said.
Tenner took to her Facebook page to ask for help from her family in Little Rock and Memphis.
Millions of parents face empty shelves as the country grapples with an infant formula shortage.
More than 40% of the formula is out of stock.
The shortage has worsened due to a tight supply chain and the recall of infant formula by Abbott Nutrition.
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The Biden administration promises to work with manufacturers to import the formula, and Congress hopes to provide relief by passing possible legislation this week.
As experts warn the shortage could continue for months, communities are stepping up in the meantime.
In Mansfield on Sunday, new mothers were able to pick up free formula at Our Place restaurant near Debbie Lane.
“I don’t want mothers to be stressed, so I want to do what I can,” said Benji Arslanovski, owner of Our Place. “I decided to look online and see what stock they had.”
Arslanovski previously worked at US Foods in Dallas.
Now he uses the food dispenser for his restaurant.
He went online and bought six cases of formula to give away.
A quick social media post, and it’s been shared over 2,000 times.
On Sunday, all cases disappeared within hours.
So Arslanovski has ordered 20 more and expects them early Monday morning.
“We thought, if we could help our community a little bit,” he said. “People helped us during COVID, so we want to pay that back.”
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Tenner’s plan for Monday morning is to call her pediatrician, praying there are samples that will guide her until her family’s shipments arrive.
“It’s stressful for us trying to figure out where his next meal is coming from,” she said.
Our Place opens at 6 a.m. on Mondays. They expect the shipment to arrive at 7 a.m., and it will go out first come, first served.