Kaiser Health News: The Search for Scarce Formula Is Worse for Rural Families on WIC

EXCERPT: “CANNON FALLS, Minn. — Two months after giving birth, Jennifer Magee noticed a change in her baby’s feeding routine that scared her: She was starting to drink more formula, almost every hour. Increased appetite is normal for growing infants, including Magee’s daughter, Aubrey. But amid the national formula shortage, Magee, 25, had only one container left, barely enough to last three days. ‘We’re flying through formula,’ Magee said as the shortage worsened in May. ‘I’m afraid that pretty soon, if we don’t stock up, we’re not going to have it for her.’ Finding more wouldn’t be a straightforward task. Magee faced the same strain many parents experienced during the past few months as they scrambled to find formula. But she felt an added strain because she relies on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children, known as WIC — a federally funded initiative meant to help low-income women buy food, including baby formula. Her daughter was born in March, long after pandemic-related supply chain issues began to affect formula availability, and just weeks after the baby food manufacturer Abbott Nutrition shut down production at its Michigan factory and recalled its Similac, Similac Alimentum, and EleCare powdered formulas, further disrupting supply. In May, Dr. Robert Califf, head of the FDA, told senators he expected the shortage to resolve in late July. As of June, the agency was still importing formulas to increase supply.” FULL STORY: https://fluence-media.co/3InQMZ8