Fact Sheet: Helping Families Find Formula During Formula Shortage

See in Spanish: HOJA INFORMATIVA: Ayudando a familias a encontrar leche de fórmula Durante la escasez de leche infantil

To address infant formula shortages following Abbott Nutrition’s voluntary recall of certain powdered infant formula, the Biden-Harris administration is working to ensure infant formula is safe and available to families across the country. Yesterday, President Biden spoke with retailers and manufacturers including Walmart, Target, Reckitt and Gerber to discuss ways to get more formula quickly and safely onto store shelves. He also announced a series of actions, including cutting red tape on the types of formulas parents can buy, calling on the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general to crack down on price gouging and unfair marketing practices, and by increasing the supply of formulas thanks to an increase in imports.

Through these efforts, manufacturers have increased production by 30-50%, bringing total production today above pre-recall levels with a different mix of products and sizes now available on the market. Yet it is clear that too many families continue to experience difficulty obtaining infant formula, especially families of approximately 5,000 infants as well as older children and adults with rare metabolic diseases who rely on specialized formula .

If you are having trouble finding formula milk easily, please see the following resources that may help:

Manufacturer Direct Lines

  • Gerber’s MyGerber Baby Expert: Contact a Certified Nutrition or Lactation Consultant by phone, text, Facebook Messenger, web chat or video call, who can help identify a similar formula that may be more readily available
  • Abbott Consumer Helpline: Call 1-800-986-8540
  • Abbott Rush Product Request Line: Ask your gynecologist or baby’s pediatrician to submit an Rush Product Request by downloading and completing the form
  • Reckitt Customer Service: Call 1-800 BABY-123 (222-9123)

Community Resources

  • Locate the Community Action Agency (CAA) nearest you. Your neighborhood CAA may be able to provide you with formula or put you in touch with local agencies that have formula in stock.
  • United Way’s 2-1-1: Dial 2-1-1 to be connected with a United Way-affiliated Community Resource Specialist who may be able to help you identify food pantries and other local charitable sources of formula for infants and baby food.
  • Feed America: Call your local food bank to find out if they have formula and other supplies in stock.
  • Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA): Some HMBANA-accredited milk banks distribute donated breast milk to mothers in need; please note that some may require a prescription from a healthcare professional. Find an HMBANA accredited milk bank.

Families eligible for WIC

  • Contact your local WIC office to identify or obtain additional sources of infant formula nearby.

General tips

  • Call your OBGYN or pediatrician to see if they have samples in the office or can suggest a similar formula that may be more readily available in stores and is nutritionally similar to your typical infant formula.
  • You should do not diluting formula, trying to make formula at home, or using infant formula. Don’t throw away formula unless it’s expired or is part of the recall. Check your formula’s batch code to see if it was affected by the recall or not.
  • You can find more advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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