Attleboro Pharmacy Owner Collects and Distributes Baby Formula for Free
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
During a nationwide baby formula shortage, one Massachusetts man is going above and beyond to support his community.
“This is for anybody. Anybody and everybody. This is for moms, dads, grandmas, everybody who is taking care of this child,” pharmacy owner, Abram Agaby said in a WJAR article. “You don’t have to be a customer here, a patient here, you just have to have a child that needs formula.”
Abram Agaby had been working at the County Square Pharmacy in Attleboro, MA, for years before he took over as owner last year. He took the position from a long-time owner who had been operating since 1972, according to WJAR.
From manager to owner, Agaby recognized the significant impact the nationwide shortage of baby formula was causing, even more so because he had recently become a new father as well.
Agaby started getting calls from previous customers, new customers, and pediatricians, all in need of the same thing: baby formula, according to WJAR.
“We have several vendors, I would try my best to order it. I just didn’t have any luck,” said Agaby to WJAR. “If I’m at Target, I’ll buy it at Target and come here with it because I know my patients need it, but then it got dry. It was nowhere to be found, no updates on when it would be available and then pediatricians started calling saying, ``What do we do?'"
As the the only independent optical pharmacy in the state of Massachusetts and New England, according to Agaby, he needed to do something.
Agaby's baby was no longer using formula, so he started to donate what he had to others in need.
That was only the start. He knew his town and others needed more.
“I gave up my stash, then I figured somebody had a stash at their house and they’d love to give it away as long as we can find an avenue for it,” he said to WJAR.
That is where Agaby stepped in and created a way to collect and distribute baby formula in larger quantities.
“I always use Facebook when I need help locally, so I posted on a Facebook group and said look, there are parents out there that have formula and parents that need formula, said Agaby to WJAR. "People don’t feel comfortable meeting each other, meeting a random stranger, but people feel comfortable coming here."
Agaby became the middle man in an incredible act of kindness.
After giving what he had out in the store and on his personal shelves at home, Agaby started to take donations of formula and distribute to those in need.
“I’m available 24/7. I respond to Facebook messages, I respond to emails, I respond to phone calls, but Attleboro has been great to us and great to this pharmacy for over 40 years, and we just hope to be here for another 40,” Agaby said to WJAR.
He never asked for a penny. He did not care if the person in need was a regular customer or not.
He only asked for one thing:
“I hope they give locally, independently owned pharmacies their business. It's not a big ask.”