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500 cans given away in less than an hour at Dearborn formula giveaway

Posted at 6:15 PM, May 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-27 18:15:24-04

DEARBORN, Mich. (WXYZ) — Today close to four hundred cars waited bumper to bumper for hours desperate to get food to feed their babies.

“I have no baby formula for my baby for the last two weeks,” says Jmal Alyaeshi. She was the first in line at the city of Dearborn’s free formula giveaway.

Alyaeshi came hours before the 11 am starting time and prepared to camp out.

“I brought my jacket and my blanket, so if it’s cold out I'll sleep in that tunnel.”

Wafa Bazzi is waiting in line for her sister who has a two-month-old son. Right now, the family is completely out of formula, forced to come up with an alternative.

“Just give him a little bit of the regular milk from the gallon and add to it a little bit of water and try to see if he accepts it,” says Bazzi. But the infant with stomach sensitives didn’t take to it.

"At least we tried something,” says Bazzi.

There were hundreds of people with similar scenarios in line today. Ali Abazeed the city of Dearborn's public health director says the desperate calls for help are constant.

"Just yesterday I got about 20 calls from mothers and that was just yesterday,” says Abazeed.

Together, Abazeed and Dearborn Mayor Abdullah H. Hammoud were able to scrape together 500 cans of formula for the giveaway, calling on partners and non-profits across state lines and internationally.

“We’re doing all we can we are not going to leave any stone unturned,” says Hammoud.

The event, scheduled to last three hours, was over in less than 60 minutes. Around 150 families were able to leave with cans to last them at least a week, but hundreds more were turned away.

Volunteers switched from distrusting bags of Similac to slips of paper saying they are out.

“I’m just overwhelmed at this point because now I have to go search the stores after this,” says Annette who just reached the cutoff point.

“We realize that this is not going to solve the problem, we realize that after today people will still suffer from shortages but this is an attempt to do what we can today, and then we will get back to the drawing board to try and help even more,” says Abazeed.

The director of public health says his department desires to host another giveaway and will alert the public on its social media pages.