|Wednesday has always been the busiest day of the week at La Colaborativa’s food pantry, with lines wrapping around a full Chelsea city block. While many are there for fresh vegetables and pantry staples but many more are in search of baby formula, once inaccessible due to high prices, now nearly impossible to find on store shelves. La Colaborativa’s food pantry is led by we know how important it is to make sure everyone, especially the youngest members of our community, have access to the food they need.
You can find our staff members and volunteers across Chelsea and Greater Boston, in our yellow and orange sweatshirts, searching high and low for formula to bring to the food pantry. In these past few months, it’s been hard to keep the food pantry stocked, but we know how important it is that no one gets turned away.
“I hear members talk about making emergency formula with cow’s milk and vegetables,” said Gladys Vega, La Colaborativa’s Executive Director. “Doctors tell us that homemade or watered down formula isn’t safe, yet so many people feel they have no other choice to keep their babies fed.”
While we hope that the formula shortage will come to an end soon, we know the need for formula will never run out. La Colaborativa’s case managers are working with our community members to help them apply to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, better known as WIC. Many community members are reluctant to access such vital resources as they fear it will be held against them in the citizenship process and that it is better to stay off the radar.
Thankfully, La Colaborativa’s longstanding relationship with our community makes all the difference, and thanks to the trust placed in us by those we serve, we’re able to not only help people through the acute formula shortage crisis but also set up families for success, ensuring that moms and babies have access to the resources they deserve.
This work is only possible through generous donations. Please consider donating to La Colaborativa to ensure we can change the lives of as many babies, and moms, as we can. Thank you for your continued support.