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'What will happen when donation supply runs out?' | A dire need for baby formula still exists in West Michigan

"I go almost every single day. At least three times a week to two to three stores and can't find formula," said Kathleen Haven, a great-grandmother.

GRANDVILLE, Mich. — After months of a baby formula shortage, shelves are not fully restocked in West Michigan and families are struggling to find what they need.

A church in Grandville has been taking donations from the community, however, Kathleen Haven, a great-grandmother, is worried about what will happen after these crucial donations end.

"The first month it was costing us double, but we could get formula," said Haven. "We could get other brands and we found something that worked fairly well. By the second month, those brands are disappearing off the shelf."

And into May, Haven says she couldn't find any brands of baby formula she was using for her six-month-old great granddaughter, Skylar.  

It's still a struggle to find the precious 'purple cans' to this day.

"I go almost every single day. At least three times a week to two to three stores and can't find formula. This is real." 

Haven has been going to donation days at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville every Wednesday for the last three weeks. She's limited to two cans per person, but one can lasts up to five days.

"If we didn't have it, I don't know what my baby girl would be drinking. I really don't." 

The church has collected and donated more than 250 cans of formula.

"We've had mothers, grandmothers, fathers or other caregivers who are nearly in tears coming in and frustrated when they haven't been able to find anything," said Brian Catlett, a Care & Connections Pastor with the church. "When they leave with product they can use and formula they can use to feed their kids, they're in tears of gratitude, because they've been down to the last can and down to the last scoops of formula."

Even though people and organizations are trying to help, Haven's concerned what will happen when the donation supply runs out.

"They're still not producing replacement so if we're not producing replacement and other brands are now depleted and they can't keep up with producing more... If people are thinking oh, they must not need it that bad...yeah, it's needed. It's necessary." 

The church will continue to collect and donate cans as long as there's a need.

You can drop them off Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the church's offices in Grandville. You can also make a donation during Sunday worship gatherings at 10 a.m. in Grandville or at 5 p.m. at the Grand Rapids location, 1005 Giddings Avenue SE. You can also email the church if you have any questions.

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