GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — Families across Central Texas are sharing their frustrations lately about how much they’re struggling to find what they need to feed their young children.
Samantha Stone, whose daughter Riley Hope is only five months old, said the shelves where she used to find baby formula are now practically empty whenever she goes to a store anywhere near her family’s home in Georgetown.
During a grocery shopping trip Friday, yet again she could not find the specific formula with added rice her daughter needs to deal with reflux. Another store nearby had limited supply of formulas, too, with a sign advising customers of the impacts of a major recall.
“It’s just frustrating, and I feel bad for the parents who can’t find the formula they need for their babies,” Stone said. “It’s unacceptable — point blank.”
The recall in question involves certain products from three popular brands — Similac, Alimentum and EleCare, which were made at the Abbott Nutrition facility in Sturgis, Michigan.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported it’s investigating bacterial infections that hospitalized four babies after they consumed certain products. Those cases happened in Michigan, Ohio and Texas. The FDA said those infections may have also contributed to the deaths of two of those kids.
According to the FDA, the impacted company, Abbott Nutrition, is working with the federal government to safely restart its Michigan plant and get other facilities to produce some of the brands parents are looking for now.
Texas WIC, the state’s supplemental nutrition program run by Texas Health and Human Services, announced it’s temporarily adding more formula options that parents can buy with their benefits, citing the formula recall’s effects on supply across the state. Families who receive these benefits are asked to contact their local WIC office to potentially receive assistance in securing formula if they’re experiencing difficulties.
If their regular formula is unavailable, the FDA also urges people to contact their child’s doctor for recommendations about other feeding strategies. Health experts advise parents not to make or feed homemade formula to infants. They also stressed that formula should never be diluted.
In the meantime, Walgreens and CVS shared with KXAN that they’re limiting what customers can buy right now to just three baby formula products per purchase.
For Stone and her family, they will keep looking for what they need for their daughter along with the help of a few other shoppers.
“I’ve got a friend in Michigan that’s sending me some [formula],” Stone said. “A friend down in Victoria [told me] that once they get it into their store, they’re going to get it for me and send it to me.”
She added, “My baby’s important, as all of our babies are.”