Jun. 8—ANDERSON — An Anderson health care center is working with a local nonprofit to help address the shortage of baby formula.
Beaumont Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center donated 100 cans of Enfamil baby formula to Operation Love Ministries on Tuesday in response to the current national formula shortage.
Sandy Montgomery, Beaumont's director of business development, said she hopes this donation will help assist in keeping babies in the community fed until more formula can be found on the shelves in stores.
"We just saw the crisis. We had a couple of our staff members that were worried," Montgomery said. "And just talking with our residents, we usually deal with these kids' grandparents, great-grandparents, we just thought to do something for the kids and the residents love that because they love kids. We just made it a mission and got with some of our suppliers and tried to find some Enfamil; we were able to get some."
Operation Love Ministries is an alliance of organizations that partner to reach those in need. The organization consists of 32 partner churches and anywhere from 20 to 50 business and organization partners that volunteer.
When Andrea Baker and her coworkers first read about the formula shortage, they made a post on Facebook informing the community that they had donations of baby formula, in addition to their normal food donations. As a result, they have been able to provide dozens of cans of formula to families in need.
"We'll reach out to the baby pantry partners that we have to see what they might have on the shelves, but there's certain ones that are just very, very difficult to find. The other thing that we've seen is that we've had to look at alternative formulas," Baker, executive director of Operation Love Ministries, said. "Some babies have to be dairy-free, some have to have a gentle formula, some need the iron fortified formula, there's a million different kinds. And so we have this chart of what alternatives are maybe able to be used."
The donation from Beaumont was a surprise to Baker. The facility called Baker last week to ask if they would be able to donate.
Montgomery said she is hoping Beaumont will be able to partner with Operation Love Ministries more throughout the year to provide any kind of assistance they may need.
"We have partnerships where we can set up collection sites. That changes as far as what we're collecting seasonally or when there is an emergency," Baker said. "Something like [Beaumont], where a collection site that is open more hours than we are, has different hours or has staff there all the time, has more accessibility for someone that wants to donate. So we love to partner with sites like that so that they can be another location that people can drop off more easily and get things to our facility."