NORTH RIDGEVILLE, Ohio — Amid a baby formula shortage nationwide, getting your hands on formula feels as good as gold.
“I can’t even imagine what these new moms are going through, imagine a mom coming home from the hospital in a formula shortage and not being able to breastfeed and struggling with that and not being able to find food. It’s terrifying,” said Danielle Stribula.
Stribula is a North Ridgeville mom herself, and while she doesn’t formula-feed she sympathizes with parents who feel helpless. So, she found a way to help.
When she was pregnant with her first child, four years ago, she started a Facebook group called "Mommy Meet Up West Side CLE."
“I felt like motherhood could kind of be an isolating thing. It started off small. It was like eight moms,” she said. “It continued to grow and grow and grow and more moms just started becoming a part of it.”
Back then, it was a group for moms to plan some get-togethers and get advice.
“The reason I created it was to create a community for moms, like a safe judgement-free, like zero mom-guilt. We have this safe place to meet other real moms,” she said.
Now, it’s still that but also a place where more than 1,000 Northeast Ohio moms looking for formula can go to find what they need.
“I posted in the group and I said ‘listen mommas, it takes a village. This is not something that moms should be doing on their own,’ and I said ‘if you see formula out snap a picture of the aisle and post it to the group, if you have a sample pack of formula in the pantry post it in the group, if you’re looking for formula tell us what brand, tell us what you’re looking for,'” she said.
Stribula said she’s seen parents helping parents all over social media, not just her group.
“It’s just like a breath of fresh air to go on social media and see in all of these mom groups spread across platforms supporting each other. They’re helping any way they can. Whether they’re breastfeeding moms, whether they’re formula-feeding moms, whether they’re moms whose kid is 8 years old. It doesn’t matter. We are just all stepping up and we are helping,” she commented.
She added what you can do to help: If you see formula out at a store and don’t need it yourself, take a picture and post it on social media.
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