Shortage of infant formula: a group of moms mobilize to fight against the “crisis” of the supply chain in the United States | American News


In the leafy suburb of Potomac, Maryland, a group of moms are mobilizing.

Faced with national shortages of infant formula, the charity Nappy Network is stepping up its efforts.

They’ve had a weekly formula drive for the past few months and the logo says it all: “Bring what you can, take what you need.”

Here, parents can drop off formula donations for families with babies and infants to feed.

Two small tables are set up and as soon as the documents arrive, they are picked up.

Margot Sandoval, 38, struggles to find formula for her four-month-old baby, Kevin.

“The day before yesterday, I went to eight or nine stores looking for him, but there are none,” she said.

“Feeling of Panic”

Lindsay Gill created the Nappy Network and described the situation as a “crisis”.

“There’s going to be a sense of panic when you walk into a store and the shelves are empty and there’s no other option to feed your child,” she said.

“There is no formula available. So whether you have access to money or not, it does not matter, if there is nothing to buy, we are all in the need.”

Margot Sandoval, 38, struggles to find formula for her four-month-old baby Kevin
Margot Sandoval struggled to find a formula anywhere

Emmanuel Newsome has a seven-week-old daughter at home. He came to get a small packet of formula milk, the brand he uses cannot be found elsewhere.

“It’s extremely difficult. So we’ve been to a bunch of different stores, we haven’t seen anything on the shelves, we’re looking online, there’s nothing online,” he said.

Why is there a shortage of formula milk in the United States?

Lara Keyy

There have been widespread shortages of infant formula in the United States since February due to potential contamination issues at a large manufacturing plant.

Abbott Laboratories was forced to close its Sturgis, Michigan site and recall a number of its powdered formulas after four babies who received formula developed bacterial infections.

The four cases were reported in Minnesota, Ohio and Texas between September and February, with two of the babies dying. Although no strong link between the Abbott-produced formula has been proven, the Michigan plant is still closed following the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulator’s six-week investigation.

A preliminary report in March showed traces of the cronobacter bacteria on factory surfaces – but none in areas where the powder is made.

The FDA and Abbott say they are working to fix the problem, with the White House stepping in by invoking emergency legislation to boost formula production.

But shortages are expected to continue as Abbott says even after the Michigan factory reopens, it will take eight to 10 weeks to get new products on the shelves.

Cronobacter occurs naturally in soil and water and, although rare, can be deadly to babies, causing dangerous blood infections and brain swelling.

Mr. Newsome cannot believe there is such a crisis in the United States.

“We are one of the largest GDPs in the world, it’s quite worrying to lack a basic need,” he said.

It’s not the kind of neighborhood you would expect to need help.

But the shortages affect every community across America.

Read more:
Biden takes steps to ease formula shortages

Ana Guzman has a one-year-old daughter and says it’s “unimaginable” that she would rely on charity to help feed her.

“It’s very stressful, and it’s something that you constantly worry about because you know how many times your child eats per day and you know how long the formula lasts,” she said.

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