As infant formula costs continue to climb across Canada, many families must hustle for coupons or rely on charity to feed their babies.

According to Statistics Canada, the average price of formula jumped 30 per cent between February 2022 and February 2024.

Owner of Lil Hoots Consignment Store, Denise Geremia, with help from many community members, has taken it upon themselves to ensure no baby in Strathmore is left hungry. 

"It started with a couple of moms coming into the store with leftover formula and asking me if I would be willing to give it to other moms in need, and then it snowballed from there." 

Geremia posted on social media that she had some free formula to give away, and that's when people were practically knocking down her door. 

"I have had moms tell me that the formula has to have gone up more than 30 per cent. For instance, getting a formula for $24 in December to $45. That is a 50 per cent increase!" 

Formula is not the only item that has increased in cost; diapers and wipes have also seen an increase.

"Everything is going up, but people's wages are not," added Geremia. 

According to Geremia, she has had women come in and tell her that they are watering down their formula to make it last longer. Some moms are going without food themselves so they can put all their money towards their baby's formula. 

"Nothing is stopping them (formula producers) from increasing the price. They can say that they're having issues with getting the ingredients, but they can charge anything cause what's the alternative? Your baby doesn't eat; you'll never not pay for that."

Geremia says the Formula Swap stand is for anyone to take what they need, no questions asked.

"If you have formula or wipes that you want to donate, bring them in. If you need help, come in and take what you need." 

The Formula Swap stand is located inside the doors of Lil Hoots Consignment.

"Things need to change. It starts with us," Geremia stated in a post on social media. 

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