Federal Government Launches Website to Help Families Find Baby Formula
The federal government launched a website on Friday to help families struggling to find baby formula amidst a nationwide shortage.
The site launched by the Department of Health and Human Services is at HHS.gov/formula. It features information including manufacturer hotlines, community resources and other guidance. WIC-eligible families will also find a link on the site for them to reach out to a local office for assistance.
You may recall on Thursday, President Joe Biden announced that his administration would be stepping up its response to the shortage that has forced worried parents into online groups to swap and sell baby formula to keep their babies fed.
The president held meetings with executives from Gerber and Reckitt about how they could ramp up production and how his administration could help. He also talked to leaders from Walmart and Target about how to restock shelves and address regional disparities in access to formula.
The main reasons for this latest nationwide product shortage are supply chain disruptions and a safety recall. The effects have seen retailers limiting what customers can buy.
As a result of this shortage, sadly, some parents have resorted to watering down formula to stretch supplies or are using online DIY recipes. Physicians are warning against both of these desperate efforts.
The shortage is weighing heavy particularly on lower-income families after the recall by formula maker Abbott back on February 17 (that recall stemmed from contamination concerns). The recall wiped out many brands covered by WIC, which is the federal program that serves "Women, Infants and Children," though the program now permits brand subsititutes.
The federal government is working with states to make it easier for WIC recipients to buy different sizes of formula that their benefits might not now currently cover.
According to the White House, about half of infant formula nationwide is purchased by those receiving WIC benefits.