New Jersey exchange sites now give parents a safe way to get baby formula

"Safe exchange" sites at local police departments are meant to safely facilitate person-to-person sales. Now, they are coming in handy as the formula shortage crisis looms.

First-time mom and Mayor of Lumberton Township, New Jersey, Gina LaPlaca, says there are many desperate parents combing through formula finder Facebook pages. LaPlaca is one of those parents, and she says she’s concerned about safety, so she came up with the idea to start formula exchange sites that are monitored by surveillance cameras. 

LaPlaca recited some online comments she's seen on Facebook, saying, "Does anybody have formula? Where can you meet me? I'll come to your house." 

"That just seems so fraught with risk," she said. 


LaPlaca understands first-hand what it’s like to scramble to find formula as she’s trying to supplement feedings for her 8-week-old son, Jack.

"I, myself, was driving to strangers’ houses this weekend to pick stuff up off their porch. I had my baby in the back seat because my husband was working," said LaPlaca. "How much more vulnerable can you be?"

As of Monday, safe formula exchange sites at public safety buildings are up and running in Lumberton, Cinnaminson, Voorhees, Moorestown and Delran. 

"Feeding babies is essential, and it has to happen right away," said Delran Mayor, Gary Catrambone.

Catrambone tells Fox 29 News that the Delran and Lumberton sites are also accepting donations. Now, they’re looking for volunteers to help deliver formula to families that have their hands full at home.

For more information on the safe exchange locations and how you can get involved or receive a formula donation, click here