PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A family services organization in Peoria is making a difference in the scramble to find baby formula.

Crittenton Centers held its annual ‘Fill the Crib’ fundraiser in April. The timing allowed for them to receive a large amount of baby formula just before shelves went bare, according to Sandy Garza, development marketing director at Crittenton Centers.

“We are so excited that we are able to say yes to help those parents in need. We believe not being able to feed your child is a crisis. That is the eligibility,” she said.

Garza said they usually gave out 50 cans of baby formula per month. But in the past seven days, they gave out 82 cans.

“Last week, we had a huge uptick in people needing formula…It’s stressful for any parent to not able to feed their child and we want to take that stress away as much as we can,” she said.

Christopher Griffis visited Crittendon Centers on Monday to pick up baby formula for his nearly two-month old son.

“Its great. That’s a big help.. A big stress reliever like that, you know. You have some milk for your kids and I appreciate that” he said.

Griffis said it has been difficult finding baby formula and has had to drive as far as Morton to find it, during a time of record-high gasoline prices.

“You have to go to multiple stores and hope that the next store you go to does have milk, and then on top of that, you have to spend a lot of gas money,” he said.

Garza said they have seen a lot of new families at the center.

“We’ve received many frantic and worried and stressed parents calling because they have driven, they have looked for formula, they’re never had to use our services before, and they’re greatly relived finding out that we do have it,” she said.

At the current rate, Garza said the center has enough formula to last three weeks. She said there is plenty to go around.

“When they call, they are stressed, for sure. When they arrive, they are very relieved and very happy and thankful that we have this resource,” she said. “The fact that we can say yes and help them has made all the difference, and it renews your spirit in everything that you do. Peoria really is a great place to be.”

Garza stressed the center does not want people to buy formula to donate to the center, but if they have unexpired formula at home, they will take it.

Crittenton Centers offers many services for families in addition to free baby formula, including a child development center, parental education classes, and a crisis nursery that’s open 24 hours 365 days a year.