SNF donates baby food amid national shortage

Tracy Wells (left) of Clinton House Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center, in Frankfort, IN, donated a significant amount of baby formula to Libbi Smith of Healthy Communities of Clinton County to help ease the stress of local families in need during the current baby formula shortage.

Castle Healthcare, a management consulting company that operates eight skilled nursing facilities in Indiana, recently organized a baby food donation initiative to help ease the anxiety of staff and residents with infants in their families, as well as the members of the community desperate to feed their children.

Castle Healthcare CEO Shai Berdugo explained that many of their residents and staff had grandchildren and children directly affected by the shortage and the company wanted to help in any way possible.

“The grandparents we care for can be significantly affected if their grandchildren have problems getting food,” explained Berdugo.

“We live and work in very caring communities,” he continued. “Everyone can help ease food insecurity with their neighbors.”

Berdugo said he began a search, looking through their vendors’ online inventory systems to find formulas, calling several companies to locate a supply of baby formula he could donate to his facility-level staff and local food banks, pregnancy centers, and even a hospital birthing department. 

“It was a needle-in-a-haystack search, due to the national shortage of baby formula,” said Berdugo. 

But Berdugo was able to purchase an 800-can supply of Enfamil baby formula powder from Castle Healthcare’s vendors, such as their  medical product and food service suppliers. 

Senior staff members also researched local food banks, charities, and hospital birthing centers near the facilities to find appropriate places to make the donations so they could get to families in need. 

The company then donated all those cans to its employees who were having difficulty finding formula, and families in need in its operating areas.

He said that while the initiative was planned by the management at Castle Healthcare, the residents “were critical in spreading the news to their families, who in turn got the word around to their communities.”

This initiative started out as a way to help the employees at Castle Healthcare to overcome the baby formula shortage. However, the donation quickly grew into something that could help throughout local communities, explained Berdugo.

From that initial effort, six Castle Healthcare facilities eventually donated Enfamil to local charitable organizations around Indiana, to give to families in need.

This was the first broad, company-wide donation initiative for Castle Healthcare, according to Berdugo.

“And judging by the great feedback we’ve received, we’ll look for more of these opportunities,” he said. “All of our facilities are frequently given back to our local communities, as one of the points of our mission is to be good community neighbors.”


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