COLORADO SPRINGS — A FEMA delivery of relief baby supplies arrived in Colorado Springs Thursday. FEMA'S got a lot of demands and requests across the country,” said Family Connections of Catholic Charities, Director, Michelle Swanson, “We are grateful for this.” Family connections will use the baby formula and diapers to help families financial falling short. The number needing help is increasing as the COVID-19 crisis continues.
There is talk among government leaders of easing coronavirus prevention measures. The financial pressure on low-income families, however, will not ease soon. “We anticipate the need is going to be on-going,” said Swanson, “Now that restrictions are eased, some people think, ‘oh well, everybody's okay now.’ That's not the case with the formula and diapers and families that are struggling."
This shipment is a start, but more is needed. “We are grateful for this, but originally we're getting 52 palettes,” said Swanson, “They've [FEMA] consolidated some, but we have five of the palettes. We're waiting for more to come." FEMA leaders have indicated more deliveries will arrive in weeks ahead.
With supplies like baby formula there is also specific need. This shipment includes mostly Similac brand formula. It is great, if it is the formula a parent started using for their baby. “They want you to stick with the same formula.” Swanson says pediatricians advise parents to avoid switching formulas because it can upset a baby’s delicate digestive system.
It means this shipment is good for some, but not all of the clients at Family Connections. Many of them rely on Women Infant and Children (WIC) funding to supplement the cost of buying baby formula. WIC requires the purchase of Enfamil formula. With COVID-19 response, stores are short on Enfamil. Family Connections is experiencing higher demand of Enfamil and is running short.
The hopes is Enfamil will be included in future FEMA shipments. They also need larger size diapers and pull-ups. Community donations are also an on-going and appreciated resource.