Parents face baby formula shortage across Arizona

KOLD News 10-10:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 10:36 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Families across the country and in Arizona are feeling the effects of another shortage caused by the supply chain.

Parents are finding empty shelves instead of much needed baby formula.

Mother of two, Dakota Newcomb, is just one of thousands facing a baby formula shortage. Like many infants, her five month old daughter relies on a specific formula to support her health needs.

“I’m really stressed out about it and scared because, my baby, she doesn’t have any other options,” she said.

Newcomb has noticed less infant formula on shelves since her daughter was born, but it’s gotten worse over the last few months.

“Typically I have to go to four, sometimes five stores a day to find what I need. I’m always worried. Am I going to be able to feed my baby?” she said.

With an increase in demand and limited stock, prices for this necessity are climbing.

“To start they’re already pretty expensive, I mean a 20 oz. tin of formula starts at about $30. Lately, I’ve seen it go up to sometimes $5 at certain stores,” Newcomb explained.

This may only be the beginning. Experts say the supply chain issue will likely get worse before it gets better because if the omicron variant.

“I think we’re going to see the effects of omicron later in 2022, so I think we’re going to see another dip of products that are going to be hard to get, just simply because it takes time for those things to work through the supply chain,” supply chain expert and University of Arizona lecturer, Ken Gyure said.

Gyure doesn’t believe the shortage is from people hoarding baby formula, but hoarding could become a major issue if the problem progresses.

“That is a very emotional product and I think that is what will happen. But, as with all things, there will eventually be more on the shelf. it may come down to where they have to limit purchases and things like that, which certainly doesn’t help the mental part of shortages. It makes people worry even more,” he sayd.

One option for families facing a formula shortage is to check with their pediatrician to talk about other options or see if they have any extra formula.

The Infant Nutrition Council of America released a statement on the availability of infant formula saying, “Manufacturers have increased production and are working with retailers and government agencies to help ensure availability and continued access to infant formula.”

They are encouraging parents to keep at least a ten day supply of infant formula, but to avoid stockpiling.

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