What You Can Do During the Formula Crisis How to get it and how to help those who need it.

By Babe | Photo courtesy of Bobbie

As the formula shortage continues to grip the United States, millions of parents are struggling to access the very products they rely on to feed their babies.

As of May 1, 43% of baby formula was out of stock at retailers, according to Datasembly, a product data firm. One mother, speaking to the New York Times, described the situation as “a nightmare.”

The crisis is hitting poorer families disproportionately hard. According to The Guardian, nearly half of baby formula in the US is bought under the Wic program, which helps low-income women, infants and children. Abbott provides formula to about half of the babies receiving Wic benefits. When these products disappeared, families were left scrambling to find alternatives.

There are racial disparities, also. Rates of breastfeeding are lower for Black babies than white babies, according to a 2019 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Black women are more likely to live at or below the poverty level and more likely to return to work sooner, the report states.

As the FDA struggles to reopen formula factories, as we await President Biden’s plans to ship formula in from overseas and for Congress to meet to explore the crisis, our community is taking action. Join us in and learn what you can do to try to end the shortage and how to get formula if you need it:

Join the HATCH Formula Drive: We are partnering with two amazing organizations, Baby2Baby and Welcome Baby, to donate any leftover or spare cans of formula that are unopened and unexpired to moms in need. HATCH, alongside our friends Lalo and Union Square Play, have opened our stores to drop-off locations in NYC and Los Angeles. Click on the link for more information!

Join Bobbie’s Hungry for Change Campaign: Call 1-805-2-LISTEN and leave us a message of what you want to say to Congress. Bobbie will use your collective words to send them a letter ahead of the hearing.

Find a Milk Bank: Head to www.hmbana.org to locate the HMBANA milk bank nearest you and milk bank staff will guide you through the screening process.

United Way’s 2-1-1: Dial 2-1-1 to connect to a community resource specialist with United Way who possible help identify food pantries and other sources of local infant formula.

Community Action Agency: Located your nearest CAA to provide you with formula or connect you with local agencies that have formula in stock.

Women, Infants, and Children: Contact your nearest WIC office to obtain information on how to procure formula.

Abbott’s Urgent Request Line: As your OBGYN or pediatrician to submit an urgent product request by downloading and completing the form.