The White House has launched a new website with information and resources for families impacted by the ongoing infant formula shortage.
The site (HHS.gov/formula) provides various contact information for several manufacturers, including Abbott Nutrition and Gerber. It also includes links to community resources, like United Way and Feeding America, that might have supplies.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday the Biden administration is urging states to provide flexibility with what formulas WIC programs cover.
“This work is far from over,” Ms. Psaki said. “And in the days ahead, you’ll hear about new actions we’re taking to increase safe infant formula.”
A nationwide formula shortage — exasperated by recalls and supply chain issues — has left families scrambling to find needed products.
California fares better than nearly every other state when it comes to out-of-stock rates for formula — albeit, the shortage is still felt.
California is at 32% out-of-stock, according to the most recent information compiled by Datasembly, a real-time product pricing and data provider, and shared with the News-Press.
Eight states and Washington, D.C., have out-of-stock rates higher than 50%. Tennessee, Delaware, Texas, Montana, Nevada and West Virginia top the list.
Only three states (Indiana, New Mexico and Colorado) have rates lower than California.
“We’re acutely aware that the ongoing recall has left many parents and caregivers concerned about access to formula and how they will feed their babies,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Friday. “Our team is committed to the health and safety of all Americans and is calling on states to act immediately to offer maximum flexibility, information and support to WIC participants.”
President Joe Biden spoke with leaders of formula manufacturers Gerber and Reckitt as well as those at Target and Walmart about the shortage earlier this week. The president discussed increased production efforts and work to keep shelves stocked.
While local health officials said the shortages have not yet reached an exigency, shortages are still felt in the Santa Barbara area — particularly when it comes to specialty formulas, such as EleCare or Enfamil Nutramigen, which are designed for newborns with certain health or dietary needs.
“At this time, it doesn’t seem like we’ve reached a crisis level,” Susan Liles, the WIC/Nutrition Services director for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, told the News-Press earlier this week. “We’re monitoring and listening to the questions and complaints we’re getting … and whenever possible, by calling the stores ahead of time, we’re able to figure out where stores have their shipments and can direct the public to those stores.”
Officials said parents should ensure they have an adequate supply of needed or prescribed formulas but avoid stockpiling.
Former President Donald Trump called the shortage a “national disgrace” in a statement through his Save America PAC Friday.
More from the White House on the formula shortage can be found at HHS.gov/formula.
Santa Barbara County’s WIC program can be reached at 877-275-8805 or by texting SBWIC to 85511 for assistance. email: email@example.com