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How a mom group is helping struggling families get infant formula

The Napkin Network will continue pop-up events in the DMV to help parents and caretakers desperate to find baby formula.

POTOMAC, Md. — Lindsay Gill is just one of countless parents struggling to find baby formula amid a national shortage caused by supply disruptions and a massive safety recall of Abbott Nutrition, the largest manufacturer in the country. 

“There is no shame in saying, ‘I need help’ because there are so many other moms that want to help," says Gill, who started a mother's group on social media called Napkin Network three years ago.  

"When I started the organization, I started it thinking, I am lucky I will never have a child in need like that, and here I am with a child in need," says Gill, who along with other members, collected infant formula on Friday at a Potomac, Md. coffee shop.

Families in the DMV region who are in need of specific brands of formula can contact the organization through social media to get their hands on the products. The Napkin Network says the best way to reach out is through Instagram.  

“Today’s event was originally supposed to be a regular diaper drop and we said we need formula, all these moms got together and brought their formula” said Barbie Bewerunge, a member of the mom group that helps manage the group's social media accounts. 

The Napkin Network will continue collecting formula and plans to organize pop-up events around the region. 

Parents like Emily Turik felt compelled to donate after experiencing feeding issues with her firstborn who was born early and requires a specific formula. “I know how hard that was for our family, and I can just only imagine, and that’s when there wasn’t a shortage" she said while carrying her new baby boy. 

RELATED: What caused the baby formula shortage, and what's next?

The Biden administration has vowed to increase infant formula imports, while locally, Mayor Muriel Bowser assures that her team is assessing the supplies in the District.

“We discourage hoarding, because sometimes the scarcity of products makes people buy more than they need right now which exacerbates the problem" said Bowser at a Friday press conference.

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