Hungry babies

Milford, surrounding areas face formula shortage

By VICTORIA HOFFMANN
Posted 5/25/22

MILFORD, PA — Families across the nation have faced a profound concern: a shortage of baby formula. Milford and other towns in the surrounding tri-state area have all faced the shortage, as …

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Hungry babies

Milford, surrounding areas face formula shortage

Posted

MILFORD, PA — Families across the nation have faced a profound concern: a shortage of baby formula. Milford and other towns in the surrounding tri-state area have all faced the shortage, as grocery stores everywhere lack a substantial product stock.

The shortage stems back to early February when a supply shock hit the market. Then, the increase in demand for formula became more dire with a recall by Abbott Laboratories for its factory in Sturgis, MI. The baby formula was reported to have bacteria in the mixture, causing infections in infants, according to bloomberg.com.

The recall set back the entire market as formulas were recalled in great numbers, starting the shortage most families are facing today.

​​“We’re acutely aware that the ongoing recall has left many parents and caregivers concerned about access to formula and how they will feed their babies,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a press release. “USDA will continue the work we started in February, working not only within our department but across the federal government, suppliers and partners to end this infant formula crisis as quickly as possible.”

On the local front, shortages in stores such as Walmart and Key Foods in the Milford and Westfall area have left parents to find alternative ways to find baby formula, indirectly strengthening the sense of community during a crisis.  

“How long it [has] lasted—it’s pretty scary. I’m afraid we won’t find it,” said Jen Little, a Pike County mother with a newborn son.

She has used resources such as Facebook to connect with other parents in a user-created exchange and purchase system. She advised struggling parents to apply for the Women, Infant, Children’s program (WIC) to offset the financial cost and to gain access priority for specialized formulas. Little also received aid from local charities and the Tri-State Pregnancy Center, located at the Prime Time Plaza, 105 Wheatfield Dr. in Milford.

The Tri-State Pregnancy center has used Facebook as a common ground for relaying messages to the local community about free supplies of different formulas. The center has volunteers who go out to various locations across the tri-state area in search of formula to give to those in need. It also conducts purchases through online shopping sites.

“We’re trying to be as helpful as we can during this crisis,” said the center director, Elvia Toombs.

The center also provides goods and needs for families overall, including babies and children. Toombs described the center’s mission as wanting to be “there for them as much as we can be.”

Toombs suggested switching brands to obtain more accessible formulas, avoiding making homemade formulas, staying updated with the center’s Facebook page for formula releases and working with your surrounding community.

“It’s community helping community,” she said.

Toombs also emphasized that the center’s resources are for anyone in need. Anyone in the tri-state area has access to their resources to help those struggling during the crisis.

For more information, visit www.tristatepregnancycenter.org

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