DETROIT (WXYZ) — Local mom Heather Chesnutt of Berkley may have stumbled onto something. She created a Facebook group called Detroit Area Formula Finder, which helps those in need find out what stores have formula in stock.
“It's been taking off — I see it just continuing to grow,” Chesnutt said of the group, which now has over 850 members. “It's not easy to get a newborn in a car and drive to six different stores and still end up empty handed.”
Chesnutt got the idea from the Detroit Area Vaccine Hunters, a popular Facebook group that started last year growing to over 17,000 members.
Chesnutt reached out to the admins, who were on board for a new challenge.
“She was a cold call," said Katie Monaghan, who creator of the Detroit Area Vaccine Hunters Facebook group. "She just reached out and was like, 'Hey, I have this idea.'”
Monaghan and others helped use the model from their page to help for get formula finders started.
“If you have a need for formula and you post your need, we’re going to connect you to resources relatively quickly,” Monaghan said. “We learned a lot with the vaccine page such as how to structure the page and find people in need.”
Chesnutt says they've already had many success stories, including one this week when Reese Schwartz of Roseville helped find a mother in need.
Schwartz, who is not in search of formula, was shopping at Meijer in Roseville when she snapped a picture of the aisle and posted it into the group. Someone from Ypsilanti commented on her post saying she needed one of the formula brands, which has just one left in stock.
So Schwartz bought it, drove to Famrington Hills to meet the person halfway.
"It looked like probably the shadiest thing ever. I just handed her a bag out the window with formula and she got it to the mom in need in Ypsilanti,” Schwartz said. "I would really hope that someone would have done this for me if the tables were turned and my kids were still on formula.”
The admins say anyone can join and help by posting a picture of the formula aisle whenever you visit your local grocery store.
You can join the group on the Detroit Area Formula Finder Facebook page.