Hundreds of valley babies replenished with new cans of formula after weekend giveaway

Published: Jun. 12, 2022 at 11:04 AM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Southern Nevada parents lined up in their cars starting at the crack of dawn Saturday to get their hands on cans of free baby formula, due to a nationwide shortage of the product.

“There’s nothing on the shelves,” said Michael Aldapa, who attended the event. “It’s kind of hard for my son to like-- he doesn’t really sleep at night.”

The event was hosted by HELP of Southern Nevada and was held at Parkdale Recreation Center. Attendees had to show identification and proof of birth for the child they were obtaining formula for.

Data released in mid-May ranked the Las Vegas metro area as the worst baby formula shortage in the country, with more than half of all formula out of stock, according to retail tracking firm Datasembly.

That’s why several volunteers joined HELP to distribute the massive formula donation.

The event started at 8:00 a.m. and ran until noon.

“I got here at 5:00 a.m.,” said Aldapa. “We’re always looking online, trying to just find formula anywhere, asking family.”

He said the formula is leaving his baby in tears and his family without sleep.

“[He’s] up, just all night, crying and crying and crying,” said Aldapa.

Attendees were able to do a drive-thru pick up, or walk up.

“You know, you get like an automatic kind of sense of accomplishment on a day like today,” said Kristina Villardi, volunteer, Junior League of Las Vegas. “People have a need for formula, you get to give it to them and fill that need immediately.”

The group hoped to serve about 800 babies total, with a few cans per baby given to families.

Here’s how they got their supply: “We had a very generous donation from Government Planet, and they called us up and they said, ‘Do you need 5,000 cans of formula?’ and we said, ‘No, we don’t have the room, but maybe we can do something because we run a diaper bank the rest of the year, and so we know our clientele. We know that they need that,’” said Abby Quinn, Chief Community Relations Officer, HELP of Southern Nevada.

Quinn said, unfortunately, this is the only giveaway they currently have planned.

“We don’t know of any large formula donation coming again,” said Quinn.

She said she is hoping that will change if the event itself helps to spread awareness on the need.

“I hope if people are watching, and they have formula, that maybe they couldn’t use the type that they have-- and it’s not open-- that they’ll just start just calling us, and we’ll be able to replenish,” said Quinn.

Have any extra unopened cans of baby formula to donate? Call Help of Southern Nevada at (702) 369-4357 or (702) 487-5665.