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Suffolk County launches baby formula drive as nationwide shortage continues

Long Island mounts baby formula collection drive with Island Harvest
Long Island mounts baby formula collection drive with Island Harvest 02:03

PATCHOGUE, N.Y. -- Some parents all over the Tri-State Area have been in a panic over when and where they'll be able to find baby formula.

Donors around Long Island say it's time to share until shelves are stocked again, CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reported Monday.

The baby formula shortage continues to grip the nation.

"When you keep a spotlight on it until our families and our children are fed," Suffolk County Legislator Dominick Thorne said.

Thorne calls it personal and is mounting a baby formula collection drive at county offices in partnership with Island Harvest Food Bank.

"As long as it's got a label on it and as long as it's within date, we can accept it," Island Harvest President and CEO Randi Shubin Dresner said. "We have the means to get our product out into the community immediately."

Christen DiPasquale says her two-month-old ZJ needs to stay on one formula, which she cannot find.

"The constipation that I've been dealing with with him has been heartbreaking, having to wake up and do the bicycling every night and rubbing his tummy," DiPasquale said.

Doctors are repeating warnings that diluting formula can be catastrophic.

"It's very concerning. Babies should not have water, free water, for the first six months of life," said Dr. Patricia Mele of Northwell Health Perinatal-Neonatal Services.

Nassau County Legislator Josh Lafazan is urging the FDA to give swift approval to imports.

"Long Island parents, they are calling, they're desperately calling for action here. So we need to allow the import of baby formula products that are safe," Lafazan said.

"Nothing that I can do. Not so much, even though I want to get formula for him, everywhere I call, everywhere I go, no," said Ana Crespo from Patchogue.

The crisis is blamed on a recall by one of the industry's largest manufacturers, supply chain issues and a market dominated by only a few suppliers.

Medical experts are urging all new mothers consider breast feeding. But even that comes with fears of running out.

"Many women that are breastfeeding are actually even concerned as well because they're getting up in the middle of the night to pump an extra time so they can have this supply of milk," said Dr. Adriann Combs, OB-GYN clinical director for Northwell Health.

Lawmakers are calling on the FTC and state attorneys general to monitor for any price gouging.

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