Fear over the government shutdown is having an impact on the Second Harvest Food Bank.
Its shelves are totally empty of infant formula. One small shelf has just a few baby items, but that's it.
The run on formula is apparently caused by parents who are worried about what might happen to the WIC program if the government shutdown drags on.
Second Harvest normally gets two to three calls a day from parents asking for formula. Tasha Kennard, assistant communications director, said between Friday and Monday they'd gotten more than 100 calls.
"If you're a mom or a dad and you look in your pantry and see one can of formula, and you hear constantly that the federal shutdown is affecting the nutrition program, an alert's going to go off," Kennard said.
They'd love donations, but one specific brand is preferred.
"Specifically we are looking for the Gerber Nestle Good Start Gentle Formula. That is the formula provided by WIC. We want to provide a consistent formula for the infants so we're not changing their diets," she said.
The formula can be dropped off at any Kroger grocery store.
Cash donations are even better, Kennard said, because Second Harvest can buy a lot more for $17 than the general public can.
"We're able to leverage the amount of dollars we receive from the community and purchase more than you or I could purchase at the grocery stores," she said.
"The Metro Health Department said they are still giving out WIC vouchers; that has not changed, despite the government shutdown. The state health department said if there are any changes, it won't be until the end of October.
For more information, visit www.secondharvestmidtn.org.
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