Help Hungry Children: Donate Formula Samples

Last Sunday I was walking out of church and a boy scout leader handed me a plastic grocery bag. I remembered hearing something about the local food drive, so I shoved the bag in my purse. The purse has been hanging on my banister for three days now...the grocery bag still crumpled up inside.
Then last night I was watching The Biggest Loser and the contestants were challenged to work in a food pantry making up food kits. That got me thinking...

I decided this morning to pull that plastic grocery bag out of my purse and try to fill it. It doesn't take much to fill a plastic bag and I knew I had a few things I could donate.

I started digging through my pantry to see what I could give that I wouldn't miss. I just bought a can of baked potato soup last week at the store so I threw that in there. I loaded up on spaghetti sauce, when it was on sale, so I figured donating one of the four in my pantry was hardly a sacrifice. I also found a spread that had come in a gift basket that I have yet to use so I threw that in there. 

Then I spotted the baby formula. I still breastfeed my daughter and only give her a formula bottle on a rare occasion. There's no way she'd never use the 8 sample containers I got in the mail shortly after she was born. So I loaded that bag up with formula. 

For anyone who's ever bought formula you know it can be extremely expensive. I was shocked to learn a large container can cost $25. A quick Google search found a two month old baby drinks nearly $5 worth of formula a day! That's $150 a month and $1800 a year! That's a lot of money for anyone. For a family who's struggling to make ends meet it might be tempting to cut back on formula or water it down to stretch the dollar. I remember, not too long ago, hearing a news report about a mother who found herself unable to buy formula. She was getting formula through state assistance but it wasn't enough for the month, nor was it meant to be. She would dilute the formula to make it last through the entire month.  What she didn't realize was by diluting her little boy's forumla she was nearly killing him. He was getting water intoxication and had to be hospitalized. I also think about what's going to happen to those California Octuplets. How is that mother going to feed those eight hungry babies, along with her six other children? Many people, including myself, want to help the children but want to be sure the donations  are being used they way they were meant to be! Donating formula, cereal, and baby food is an easy way to make sure these children are getting what they need. We all have a responsibility as parents to care for the children we bring into this world.  I feel a responsibility to help the children whose parents can't, for one reason or another. I would hope that I could turn to my community for help if my family should ever fall on hard times. 

If you have formula samples in your pantry, or if your pediatrician's office asks if you'd like samples, accept them on behalf of the hungry children. Donate them to a local food bank and teach your children a valuable lesson about the world's hunger problem and about giving back. 

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