Community faces baby formula shortage

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Many parents are facing empty shelves when they grocery shop for the youngest members of their families, as a supply chain issue has created formula shortages across the country.

“It’s a scary sight to go down the baby aisle, and you don’t see food for babies,” said Fayetteville resident Brandi Welch.

The shortage likely began with a series of formula recalls. Welch’s daughter is sensitive to formula, and the one that works, Similac Pro Comfort, is one of several formulas recalled in mid-February.

“There are babies that have to be put on specialized diets and it’s scary when you can’t find the one that your baby needs,” Welch said.

Welch said she has noticed the shortage extends beyond her community.

“We’ve had friends and family looking all over the country,” Welch said. “We have people in Maine, Texas, Indiana, all over Tennessee, and all over Huntsville.”

Welch shared her experience on Facebook, and after spreading the word, she is watching a community form around the issue.

“I’ve had other mothers reach out to me telling me that they’re going through the same thing, and as they are seeking their formula, they’ll keep and eye out for the one we were needing,” Welch said.

Some major retailers, like Walmart and Target, are limiting the amount of formula parents can purchase in on trip to the store, but Welch said parents are working together to help combat the shortage.

“It’s been beautiful to see the compassion and the sense of community surrounding the need to feed these babies,” Welch said.

According to the Infant Nutrition Council of America, parents should keep a ten-day to two-week supply of formula at home whenever possible. In emergency situations, local hospitals and food banks can usually provide small amounts of formula.

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