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Charlotte clinics give away more than 1,000 cans of free formula

starmed formula pic.jpg
Claire Donnelly
Workers hand out formula at StarMed Healthcare's clinic on Tuckaseegee Rd.

Charlotte resident Charles Foxx has a 7-month-old granddaughter, Layla, whom he calls a “pumpkin peach sweetie pie.”

“She’s grandfather’s little darling,” Foxx said, leaning out of his car window in the parking lot outside the StarMed Family & Urgent Care clinic on Tuckaseegee Rd. in west Charlotte.

Foxx, like hundreds of other caregivers, lined up for free baby formula Tuesday. StarMed Healthcare gave away roughly 1,100 cans, one per person, amid the nationwide shortage. With formula in short supply, Foxx said Layla’s pediatrician had sent his family some sample cans — but they didn’t last long.

“Probably about 7 o’clock, 8 o’clock, I just jumped in the shower to get over here in line … I knew I had to come and sit here and be here for her (Layla),” Foxx said.

starmed formula sign.jpg
Claire Donnelly

A formula shortage is affecting families across the U.S. and has left many scrambling. During the week ending May 8, 43% of baby formula was out of stock nationwide, according to the website Datasembly.

For Caprice Harris, who waited in her car Tuesday about three spots behind Foxx, the past couple of weeks have been stressful. Harris has an 8-month-old boy and, like many parents, her formula supply has gotten dangerously low.

She said she’s driven as far as Gastonia searching for more food for her son which, given recent high gas prices, isn’t easy for her.

“I get very, very, very frustrated,” Harris said. “I want to cry … Because it’s like, I don't care if I don’t eat. As long as my child eats, then I’m perfectly fine. At the end of the day, I’m a mom before anything.”

StarMed CEO Mike Estramonte told WFAE his clinics had roughly 300 cans of formula left over after Tuesday’s event. He said StarMed may do another formula giveaway this week or next.

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