Long Island Charity Gives Away Baby Formula Amid Nationwide Shortage

A group in Long Island gave away baby formula for free on Tuesday, May 17, as a shortage left supermarket shelves sparse across the country.

Video streamed live by Angels of Long Island shows packages of formula ready to be picked up in Patchogue on Tuesday morning. The nonprofit organization, whose mission reads “Neighbors helping neighbors,” was offering one free formula package per family.

On Monday, the FDA and Abbott Laboratories reached an agreement to reopen a shuttered Abbott facility and resume production of baby formula to ease the shortage. The Sturgis, Michigan, factory was shut down in February after an investigation into the deaths of two infants led to the discovery of cronobacter, a deadly bacteria, in the formula plant.

The agreement said production would resume “within two weeks,” which would translate to formula on the shelves in “six to eight weeks.” Credit: Angels of Long Island via Storyful

Video transcript

- Good morning, Angels of Long Island. We are live at 350 East Main Street in Patchogue, the Angels of Long Island Thrift Store and boutique. We are here kicking off $2 Tuesday. Fantastic sales going on in the store. All clothing and shoes today are just $2. 50% off anything priced over $5 today. And we're a quarter mile east of Route 112. We are a nonprofit thrift store, which means all proceeds go back to the Long Island community, helping families in crisis right here on Long Island.

Right now, I'm sure most of you have heard about the formula shortage. We have been doing the best we can with collecting and handing out. A week ago today, we started. Yesterday-- actually, all week, crazy. Formula has been leaving the store pretty much every five minutes. And as much as we hand out by the end of the night, our counter is full. So I just want to thank the Long Island community for coming together and helping these babies and the stressed out moms and grandparents. And we've been able to make sure a lot of babies are eating.

So for that, I am very proud. So this is this morning's inventory. If you have formula, please bring it down. There are so many brands that people really, really need. The main one, if you're out in the store and you see it, if you could pick it up, the Enfamil Gentlease NeuroPro and regular Gentlease and the Enfamil Infant and NeuroPro Infant. Those are very hard to come by. Also, this one right here. It's also by Enfamil. I have a couple of cans of this.

I have Similac Advance, Similac Pro-Sensitive, Enfamil AR. This one here is Enfamil Enspire. NeoSure. Pro-Advance. Pro-Advance. Pro-Sensitive. I also have the Similac 360 Total Care. We have some small containers for that. What is this? Similac Total. Sample packages of the Enfamil Toddler. And this one right here. So that's what I have today on hand.

I am expecting a delivery this morning. [INAUDIBLE] is going to come over and share some stuff that she has. We've had quite a few food pantries that had stuff on stock bring it to us, and then just our every day Long Island people. So, again, a big thank you to the community. These are free. You can come in and get for free. It's one per family. So you're getting, like, a day's worth. Maybe with the can you're getting a couple of days worth.

You're welcome to come back. We're trying to make sure that babies eat today, not to stockpile. Everybody is feeling this. So that's enough for a day. So come on down. We do appreciate your donation. A couple of people left a monetary donation. We do appreciate that. It enables us to continue to do what we do for the Long Island community. So, again, if you know somebody that needs formula and you saw the brand that you're looking for and we have it, all you gotta do is come in.

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