Where to Donate Baby Formula? 15 Places (incl. Near You)

Balint Horvath, PhD

Writer, parent, and veteran of baby feeding battles.

Updated:

It’s not uncommon for parents to have an excess of unopened and unused formula. For starters, your baby may have moved onto the next formula level. Alternatively, you may have been given more cans than you need. So where can you donate baby formula?

Baby formula can be donated to a variety of different charities as long as the formula is unopened and within its expiration date. Given that formula has an expiration date, many non-profits don’t accept formula donations. You will need to find a place that will be able to use the formula before the expiration date. 

Key takeaways

  • Baby formula can be donated, provided it’s well within its expiry date and unopened. 
  • Not all nonprofits accept baby formula donations–you will have to do some research in your area.
  • Speak to people you know to find out about parents who may need the formula. 

Facts about baby formula (especially from a donation point of view)

  • Formula must be donated well within the expiration period to give the non-profit time to distribute the formula. 
  • The CDC recommends that unopened formulas be donated to reputable organizations to ensure that the formula can be checked and distributed correctly. 
  • Ingredients in formula products vary, making it crucial to keep the labels on. That way incorrect formula won’t be distributed to babies with food allergies. 
  • Formula should be stored in a cool dry place for the time that you have it to ensure that it remains fresh and safe to use when you donate it.

Can you donate baby formula?

Yes, you can donate unused baby formula. Depending on the area where you live, it may be more difficult to find a charity or non-profit that accepts formula donations. Always ensure that you keep the formula stored correctly until you can find a place to donate it to. 

Can you donate baby formula to hospitals?

Many hospitals will accept the donated formula, provided the product is unopened and within its expiration date. While many hospitals may not have done this previously, some have adjusted this rule in light of the recent formula shortages in the U.S. 

Can you donate baby formula to Goodwill?

Many thrift non-profits don’t take formula products because of the expiry date. Always check with the ones in your area if they take it. 

5 places to donate baby formula

If you’re looking for a place to donate unopened formula, the list below is an excellent place to start. 

1. The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is one of the local charitable organizations that accept baby formula donations. Simply locate the Salvation Army office in your area and speak to them about donating. Formula products need to be unopened and within the expiration period. Labels must still be clear to identify the ingredients of the product. Some Salvation Army offices also offer pick-up services. 

2. SOS Children’s Villages

Since the SOS Children’s Villages take care of children in need, they will also accept formula donations. As with the Salvation Army, the formula must be unopened, clearly labeled and well within the expiration period. This will give them adequate time to find a family who needs the formula product. 

3. Baby2Baby

Since Baby2Baby takes care of children in domestic violence programs as well as infants in foster care, homeless shelters and local hospitals, they are always looking for donations of all types. In 2022, they announced on their website that due to Covid they would only be accepting new or unopened products as donations. Be sure that the formula is within the expiry period. 

4. Moms Helping Moms

As an organization that assists families in need, Moms Helping Moms specializes in assisting underserved families with new and gently used baby products. They accept unopened formulas within the prescribed expiry period. 

5. WeeCycle

Based out of Colorado, WeeCycle collects all types of donated and gently used baby gear and furniture for struggling families and shelters. They also collect unopened formula, food, wipes and diapers for relocation. Formula and food products must be unopened and still well within the expiry period. 

Where to donate baby formula in San Francisco?

The top places to donate baby formula to in San Francisco are:

  1. Catholic Charities
  2. Diaper and formula programs
  3. Alpha Pregnancy Center
  4. San Francisco Bay Area Moms

Where to donate baby formula in New York

The top places to donate baby formula in New York include the following:

  1. Donate Baby Food 
  2. NYC Mammas Give Back
  3. Nazareth Housing NYC
  4. St. John’s Bread & Life
  5. Astoria Food Pantry
  6. El Nido

CDC’s Concerns about donating baby formula

When it comes to donating baby formula, the CDC has a few concerns. For the most part, these concerns center around the expiration date being ignored in instances where parents are desperate. Additionally, many underserved families may water down the formula to make it last longer. 

What to check before donating baby formula

When you’re planning to donate formulas, keep the following in mind. 

The expiry date

Always check that the formula is still within the expiry date and that there’s sufficient time to allow for normal use. Giving a large tin to someone with three or four days to go on the expiry date is impractical.

Age specification

Ensure that the age specification of the formula is suitable for the person or organization you’re donating to. Donating formula for babies aged 6 months isn’t helpful to an organization that only deals with newborns. 

Ingredients

Some babies have allergies–even from birth. Additionally, some parents might not want their babies exposed to certain ingredients. Also, ensure the original labels are still intact. 

How to find places to donate baby formula

If you are having a hard time finding a non-profit association that accepts unopened formulas, you may want to consider these easier options. 

  • Speak to family: The easiest place to start is by speaking to friends, family, neighbors and colleagues. Chances are someone in your circle knows someone who is pregnant and will appreciate the donation. People in your circle may also know of a local charity or shelter that will accept the formula. Speak to people at your local church, gym or even doctor’s office as well.
  • Find out information from orphanages: Check your local area for orphanages, shelters, or child care centers that assist underprivileged or struggling families. If they don’t accept the formula, they might be able to advise you of who does. 
  • Speak to your local municipalities: People who work with social outreach programs in your local community may be able to take the formula off your hands and donate it to families in need.
  • Use social media: Many parents are opting to use social media to sell or donate their used or unused baby clothes and furniture. You can also share a post with a photo of the formula that you have up for donation. If your friends or followers don’t seem interested, you can also place the post in local community groups, groups for helping single moms or local community non-profit organizations. 

One of the Facebook groups that help parents donate formulas to people in need is highlighted in this short clip. 

Why you would want to donate baby formula

If you’re looking for a good reason to donate your baby formula here are a few you could look into: 

  • To help poor parents who can’t afford formula 
  • You may not need your formula anymore, as for example you reintroduced your baby to breastfeeding
  • Your formula is the wrong brand or type for your baby
  • To help hospitals who are running short on formula 
  • To assist children’s homes that don’t have formula 

Conclusion

There are several places where you can donate your unopened baby formula. Be sure to store the formula correctly and donate it well in advance to ensure that it’s within the expiry date. 

Interestingly, the places where you can donate formula are also ones where you could try getting some in case you face a baby formula shortage issue.

If you are looking to donate other baby items, consider reading my article on where you donate baby bottles

Photo of author

Author

I’m Balint, founder of this site and a father (and dad) to a baby-turned toddler. I found the world of babies so fascinating that I started a blog dedicated only to that topic. By the way, I studied physics, engineering (PhD, MSc), and therefore I do a thorough research when I write about something. Since it’s a blog, of course I also write about my personal experiences.

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