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Austin woman drives 100+ miles to find baby formula for families

Published: May. 19, 2022 at 8:19 PM CDT
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AUSTIN, Minn. (KTTC) – Since last Friday, Melissa Linzmeier has been volunteering her free time to purchase baby formula for families who are struggling to find some amid the national shortage.

“I just kind of started thinking like with all the driving that I do, there’s no reason why I can’t help other moms or dads that are looking for formula,” she said.

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Linzmeier said it began with her looking at the formula for a friend. She made a Facebook post so her friends on social media could let others know about her plans to help strangers.

Every weekend, she starts in Austin, then goes to Rochester, and ends up in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She said she already makes the trek to take her children to be with their father and figured she’d stop at all the stores that sell formula on the way.

“I would say going from here to Rochester, I would say 10 to 15 stores easily, and when I go to La Crosse I check all of the Walgreens which there are five in the La Crosse area, and then the Target and both Walmarts, so every store that I can and then I’m always on Google maps looking to see if there’s anything that I missed,” she said.

As of Thursday, she’s successfully helped 12 families and has at least more than eight requests she’s working on.

“All of the exchanges I’ve done with the formula they always send me a picture of their baby with the bottle, and it is just the sweetest thing,” she said.

Linzmeier’s children are 12 and seven. They also often help Mom with her runs, and as a mother herself, Linzmeier empathizes with what parents of infants are going through.

“Both of my children were on special formula, so I definitely get that you can’t just switch formulas. Babies’ bellies are so sensitive. It’s not as easy as some people think of just switching things around. I definitely did the formula thing. I know it was a struggle for me back then, so I couldn’t imagine how it is now when there’s just no formula to be bought,” she said.

Linzmeier said she will continue to help families until requests stop. She said so far she’s spent at least $500 on baby formula for families. She does ask families to reimburse her for the cost of the formula. People can reach out to her through her Facebook Page.

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