The B’nai Torah congregation uses social media to track down infant formula
BOCA RATON, Fla. – The shortage of infant formula has left thousands of parents dry.
“I haven’t always been able to find it, but last week I got to the point where I was running out and it did. Last Friday I drove to 8 different stores,” said Veronika Vaughn who struggled to find the formula for her 10 months.
“As a parent, it’s very scary because we don’t have answers. We don’t know when it will get better, it was actually a little out of place,” Vaughn said.
Vaughn said her baby has specific allergies and needs a hypoallergenic formula.
She has been able to donate formula milk that her baby cannot drink and is now relying on the power of social media to help her survive.
“These parents are writing, I’m watching social media and there are numerous comments saying who needs. And then, we connect those people and it’s a beautiful thing,” said Naomi Gordon, director of early childhood. Congregation B’Nai Torah.
Through the congregation, the parents have created a private Facebook group “Be On the Lookout” where together they are donating an extra formula and helping parents without one.
“In our Facebook group alone, I think we have 500 members in our Facebook group. So, hey, if we get 10%, 50 people have something. That would be huge,” Gordon said.
The congregation hopes others will create similar social media groups to bring families together to help.
“The crisis is for everyone. I don’t think there’s anyone in the world right now who doesn’t know someone or doesn’t have someone in their life who has a baby. So the crisis is big, it’s really big,” Gordon said.
B’nai Torah also has over 50 statewide community pantries that currently have no formula, but hope to include it once they have extra supplies.
“I hope this small group of people and their commitment will expand to a large group of people. We really need to help each other here,” said Senior Rabbi David Steinhardt with the B’nai Torah Congregation.