SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A scary time for many parents, as they head to the store looking for baby formula and find empty shelves.
In February, there was a large recall which wiped out stock. Now, companies are still hampered by supply chain issues.
Some parents are leaving the state just to get food for their children. One local mom says it’s important to look out for other moms, so their babies can be healthy.
Heather stout is a mom to a nine-month-old girl: “We started out rough. We were NICU baby. We were at 34 weeks and five days. So the first, probably five months was definitely scary.”
Over the last few months, Stout feels added stress as she goes to the store. “I am terrified. Every day I look at Walmart every single time I go in the baby formula just to see if there’s any formula. It’s heartbreaking that I have to worry about that, where my baby’s milk is going to come from.”
“We get multiple phone calls a day we have mothers in tears. We have mothers frantic,” said Tawana Frazier, WIC nutritionist and lactation consultant.
Tawana Frazier works at the WIC clinic at Jordan Valley Community Health Center in Springfield.
“Our monthly caseload right now is about 5800 or 5900 people, give or take, depending on the month. We’re like the largest single agency in the state,” said Frazier.
Stout relies on WIC to feed her daughter. “Our formula is $25 and it lasts us three days.”
“Some people are having to go to multiple stores in a day. Some stores are putting limits on how many cans they can purchase,” said Frazier.
Frazier says the shortages started when the Abbott company had a major recall: “There was just supply issues for ingredients prior to the recall. Only some formulas were affected by it at that time. But now it’s everybody.”
Frazier says there are still some other options for parents if they can’t find their formula. “We are able to offer other alternatives to formula and also different canned sizes available so they can use their benefits for that other formula at this time. There is an app that can be downloaded for which it’s called which shopper and that’s going to be the most up to date information.”
For Stout, she still worries about the next time she goes to the store… Wondering if she will be able to feed her child: “It’s not healthy for me, it’s not healthy for her, it’s very scary.”
WIC says it’s not limiting the number of cans parents can get using their e-WIC card.
WIC says it’s important to not feed your baby a homemade formula. They say anything homemade won’t have the nutrients your baby needs, and it could be detrimental to your baby.