Park Ridge mom starts group to help families find baby formula

Abbott says it will take weeks to restart operations
PARK RIDGE, Ill. (WLS) -- A Park Ridge mother has started a Facebook page to help families find formula.

Park Ridge mom Maria Orszula is doing everything she can to make sure her 5-month-old son JJ has the baby formula he needs. But for weeks, many store shelves nationwide have been empty.

"There's complete frustration," Orzula said. "It's at a different level from the toilet paper and the wipes issue. This is our children's nutrition. This is what we're putting in their bodies."

So on Saturday, Orzula founded a Facebook group called "Formula Hunters of Park Ridge, Niles and North Chicago Suburbs" to help other families find formula in the area.

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"It's been really successful," Orzula said. "It's a lot of neighbors helping each other. We have all parents, grandparents helping in the group."

People have been snapping pictures of stores with formula and posting them on the Facebook page. And this will have to do for now with a resolution to the shortage still weeks away.

Overnight the FDA announced it's moving to import brands of formula from abroad currently not sold in the U.S.

Baby formula maker Abbott says agreement reached with FDA to reopen Sturgis, Michigan facility

"We are seeking manufacturers from around the globe who may have available product that could meet our regulatory standards for both nutrition and food safety," Dr. Susan Maye, FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition said.

The FDA also laid out a plan with Abbott Nutrition, the largest domestic formula manufacturer to re-open it's critical plant in Michigan.

The facility has been shut down since February after a voluntary recall and inspection by the FDA over safety concerns dramatically stalling formula supply.

Abbott said it will take two weeks to restart operations and up to two more to get its products onto shelves.

"I think we do appreciate that a solution is coming," Orzula said. "Is it coming in a time frame that for a mother is fast enough? I'm gonna have to say no. We need it today."

So for now, parents and caregivers are still hunting for formula, but relief is on the way.
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