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Mothers searching for baby formula as shortage worsens

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 6:42 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Mothers are growing nervous all across the state as baby formula is proving harder and harder to locate. Many shelves remain bare at large stores and once stock comes in it never sticks around long.

It is a huge concern for young families and every mother I spoke with says it has added a great deal of stress and anxiety to their lives.

Stephanie Qualls has been having trouble finding formula for her ten month old Deacon but she is not alone. What started as supply chain issues caused by COVID-19 soon grew worse when several popular brands were recalled by the FDA due to potential bacterial infections.

“From then on it just seemed to be a mad dash to find formula,” said Qualls.

It is a mad dash that has turned in to a long distance race for some local mothers.

“I remember going to Sam’s to return those canisters and going straight across the street to Walmart just to see what I could find in stock, because people just started buying it up and it kind of just snowballed since then.”

Many are now asking friends and families to keep their eyes peeled for formula, as several stores are limiting the amount you can purchase.

“We will get down to one tub and I will go every few hours and check my phone to see if it is in stock here, if it is in stock there. Text people on the other side of town. ‘Hey check your Walmart, check your Target. See if they got any. I’ll come pick it up from you, I’ll venmo you.’ It has been crazy.”

Organizations like Mama’s Joy and Bundles of Hope are doing their best to spread donations around.

“Reach out to us. We are always a support team. We have partnerships all over the community. I got off the phone with the WIC office just before our call, I just wanted to touch base with them. See what they are telling clients and what they are hearing from manufactures on the formula side and they are actually saying the smaller stores have better supplies than the big box stores,” said Executive Director for Bundles of Hope Diaper Bank Lindsay Gray.

You can always call ahead to see if a store has some supply. As to how much longer the issue could last no one I spoke with today could say for certain but they hope a solution appears sooner rather than later.

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