Formula feeding is the main choice for many parents, but in recent weeks, families have been struggling to find formula due to a nationwide shortage. The need for formula has surged due to panic buying and supply chain disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. To ease some of this stress and help families access essential nutrition for their babies, we’ve compiled a list of resources available to families facing the formula shortage.
Check Online Retailers and Local Stores
Grocery delivery services like Amazon Prime Now or Instacart allows you to purchase formula and deliver it right to your door. If you are unable to find the brand you are looking for on these services, try checking the website of your local grocery store or baby formula retailer.
Many stores now offer online ordering and curbside pickup options, so you don’t need to leave the comfort of your home. For instance, you can order HiPP formula, which is an organic, pure source of nourishment for your baby. With the HiPP formula, you will always know that the ingredients are sourced from farms and dairy components without any questionable content.
Scour search engines like Google and Bing for local stores and websites that may carry formula. Some brick-and-mortar stores still have formula in stock, but you may need to call them ahead of time to ensure they have it in stock before heading out.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has also created a website to help parents find stores that carry infant formula. Enter your zip code to find nearby retailers with formula in stock.
Join Parenting Groups
Communities like Facebook Groups and Reddit are full of parents who are eager to lend a helping hand. You can post in these communities to ask if other parents have any formula they are willing to share or donate. These communities can provide support and advice regarding formula shortages.
There are parenting groups specifically dedicated to formula shortages, such as Formula Shortage Support Group on Facebook. You can join these groups and stay informed about the latest news regarding formula availability in your area. If you’re in a pinch, you may even get help from other parents making formula for their babies.
Take Advantage of Federal Programs
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a federal program that helps low-income families access healthy foods and formula. Eligible families can receive vouchers that they can use to purchase formula at participating grocery stores. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) also assists in purchasing food, including formula, for those who qualify. WIC offices are located throughout the country and can assist families needing infant formula.
The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has partnered with formula manufacturers to provide free formula for families facing shortages. You can call your local FNS office for more information or check the official website to see if you’re eligible for assistance.
Contact Your Healthcare Provider
Contact your healthcare provider or local health department and ask if they can provide you with resources to help access formula. Healthcare providers may be able to connect you with free formula samples or coupons, as well as other baby nutritional resources.
Many healthcare providers offer virtual or telephone appointments, so you can still receive the advice and help you need without leaving your home.
It would help to Contact your baby’s doctor since they are an invaluable source of knowledge and support during this stressful time. Ask the doctor if they have any samples or coupons for formula that they can provide. Your doctor may also recommend alternative feeding options if you cannot find formula in your area.
Visit a Food Pantry
Food banks and pantries can also be a great source of assistance in finding formula. If you’re struggling to find formula in your area, check with your local food pantry and ask if they have any available.
Food pantries are often stocked with donations of formula and other baby items. If your local pantry doesn’t have any formula, they may be able to direct you to another organization that does.
Many food pantries are now providing delivery services to help families access the items they need while reducing their risk of exposure to COVID-19. Some pantries offer online ordering and curbside pickup options, so you don’t need to leave the comfort of your home.
Formula shortage can be a trying time for families, but with the right resources and support, you can ensure your baby has the nutrients they need to stay healthy and strong. With the help of these five resources, you can find formula in your area or access other options to provide for your little one.