Nationwide formula shortage leaves local moms struggling to feed their babies

A nationwide baby formula shortage has some stores rationing their already limited supplies. New4JAX went to several local stores to see what the situation looks like in Northeast Florida.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – A nationwide baby formula shortage has some stores rationing their already limited supplies. It also has moms scrambling to find options to feed their newborns.

New4JAX went to several local stores to see what the situation looks like in Northeast Florida. Shelves weren’t completely wiped out, but they weren’t exactly full either.

Nationally, stores are reporting nearly 30% of baby formula products are out of stock -- up from 8% a year ago.

There are limited options for newborns right now, especially those with allergies who depend on specialized formula. Moms we spoke with say they’re running out of options.

“It is incredibly frustrating because in today’s day and age I am not able to feed my child,” said Ashleigh Olsen.

This is the reality for moms like Olsen who have newborns at home.

In most stores, baby formula is either out of stock or there’s a limit to how much you can buy, but this shortage goes beyond what’s available on grocery shelves.

“I can’t even get it from the actual manufacturer,” said Olsen.

Olsen’s baby suffers from allergies and uses a specialized formula called “Enfamil Puramino.” It can only be purchased directly from the distributor.

“I placed an order with them like I usually do monthly on March 22,” Olsen said. “And then they told me yesterday that they are not going to start shipping until April 25 the 25-27 and my son is down to one can of formula.”

Ivonne Garcia is also facing the same issue.

Her baby uses specialized lactose and hyper-allogenic formula. It can be purchased in-store but in the past month, she hasn’t been able to find any.

“The past three times I’ve been to Walmart, Target, they have not had his formula yes. And I have two cans left,” Garcia said.

Retailers say inflation, supply chain shortages, and product recalls are behind the shortage.

Garcia said this isn’t right.

“There’s no need for us to be searching hours away to different stores and texting people trying to scrummage around trying to find formula,” said Garcia. “It’s just not fair to us at all.”

Both moms say they know people who are also struggling to find standard baby formula.

To get through this, they’re relying on local mom groups to trade and salvage what they can—they’re also asking for help from their pediatricians.

Have you had difficulty finding baby formula? Tell us in the comments below.


About the Author:

This native of the Big Apple joined the News4Jax team in July 2021.