Parents across Michigan struggle to feed babies amid formula shortage

Stores are limiting how much baby formula people can buy
Parents across Michigan struggle to feed babies amid formula shortage
Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 6:28 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Some parents in Mid-Michigan are struggling to feed their babies.

Background: Baby formula shortage worsens, may take weeks to improve

There’s a nationwide shortage of baby formula forcing many stores to put limits on what they do have.

“It’s scary. It’s scary. It really is,” said Makaila Wharton.

Baby formula shelves are empty at grocery stores and pharmacies across Michigan. Stores -- like Meijer and Walgreens -- are now limiting people to only two cans of what they do have.

A recent review of 11,000 stores found nearly 30% of popular baby formula brands are sold out nationwide.

“We went to Jackson, went to Lansing, went to Mount Pleasant, we went to Mason,” Wharton said. “We’ve been all over the place trying to find some.”

The shortage has left many parents -- like Wharton -- wondering how they’ll feed their babies.

“What is my kid supposed to eat if I don’t have formula for her and all of these and all these stores are out?” asked Wharton.

Wharton said she even called her doctor looking for samples to get by, but Sparrow pediatric dietitian Anne Devitto said you can’t always rely on that.

“They no longer have the ability to send samples directly to the families,” said Devitto.

Supply chain shortages, inflation, and a massive recall of Similac formulas made in Sturgis, Michigan are blamed for the shortage.

Devitto said it’s really become an all-hands-on-deck situation to make sure babies have food.

“I am now really diligent when I do my shopping, looking at the store shelves in the baby section to see what’s available,” said Devitto.

“It’s crazy to think that somebody would need to stress about feeding their baby,” Wharton said. “And that’s what hurts me the most.”

Companies are trying to make up the difference, but it could take a couple of months for them to catch up.

Devitto said it’s not a good idea to try to make your own formula, because it wouldn’t have the all nutrients a baby needs.

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