LANSING, Mich. (WLN) – Across the country, the baby formula shortage continues. It’s been going on for months now with no end in sight.

But, here in mid-Michigan, the community is stepping up to help parents in desperate need to feed their babies.

Someone leading that charge is the owner of the Fretail Store, Mike Karl.

“We get a lot of twins that come in here. So, we’re giving the bigger cans to the twins,” Karl said.

It’s called operation baby formula. Karl and his volunteers are giving away one free can to those who need it.

“We’ve probably given out about 600 cans in the last two weeks,” Karl said.

People are traveling from across the state to pick up a can. Karl said there have even been times when parents have come in to trade their formula for a different one.

“She has four cans of another kind that we really need, so we traded her the two cans that we have for four cans this community needs. It helped her baby, but she just helped another four babies,” Karl said.

The formula help in mid-Michigan doesn’t stop there.

A Facebook group called the “Lansing Area Formula Finders” regularly posts updates on which stores are stocked with formula.

“Taking those photos at the store, posting the location date and time that you took that photo to the page. It’s helpful,” said group member, Jacklyn Holzwart.

Holzwart says she personally knows the difference this makes.

“This group did help me find formula whenever I was looking for it and I was able to stock up,” said Holzwart.

So, whether it’s searching for updates on Facebook or visiting the Fretail Shop, mid-Michigan has different resources to help during this shortage.

“We want to help as many babies as we can, and we have formula here. Let’s put it to work,” Karl said.

Karl said organizations from 22 different states have reached out asking to buy the formula from his store.
But he’s had to turn them down because he says his focus right now is on families in Michigan.

The Fretail Store is accepting donations of formula if anyone has some to spare. You can visit them inside the Lansing Mall at 5330 W Saginaw Hwy, Lansing, MI 48917.