OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – It’s a nationwide problem that is hitting Oklahoma families hard. The baby formula shortage has retail shelves empty or half full in many cases.
KFOR talked to a metro mom that has to have a certain kind of formula for her baby, and it’s taking her extended family to get it for her.
Metro mom, Kelsey Hill says life before she found out her 4 month-old, Everleigh, has a cow’s milk protein intolerance was tough.
“She would just cry about 90 percent of the time she was awake because she was so uncomfortable and she had a rash on her face it was really horrible,” said Hill.
Due to that intolerance, she has to buy hypoallergenic formula for little Everleigh.
“There are serious repercussions for her not having this type of formula,” said Hill.
So when Kelsey started seeing empty shelves at local supermarkets, she took to the web.
“Searching for the formula now has become almost like a part time job,” said Hill.
According to retail software company, Datasembly, the national out-of-stock rate for baby formula reached 43 percent last week – up 10 percent from last month’s average.
“We have even had to go as far as buying formula from one of the major retailers and have our family members pick it up in other states. That’s how far we have had to go to feed her,” said Hill.
Experts blame supply-chain problems and labor shortages. There was also a nationwide recall of certain Abbott products, one of the leading formula producers.
“We had gotten cans of formula from the allergist’s office and they were all recalled except for one can,” said Hill.
Officials at Infant Crisis Services say there stock room shelves would normally be full, but they are not.
“We are seeing a shortage in formula, clients are calling in asking if we have what they need,” said Allison Parker of Infant Crisis Services.
They are warning mothers not to stretch current formula supplies by watering them down.
“Consider generics. Don’t worry about the name brand. They are the same, they pack in the same ingredients and the same nutrients. It’s ok to do generic, it’s totally fine,” said Parker.
The FDA issuing a statement today saying, “Our teams have been working tirelessly to address and alleviate supply issues.”
Officials say they are taking steps to stream line production permits and the import process to try to increase supplies.
Hill hopes this shortage will be over soon.
“I just hope that we get to the point where we don’t have to continue fighting, searching and hunting to be able to feed our children,” said Hill.
Hill tells KFOR she has seen unscrupulous people on-line trying to sell formula for 2-and-3-times the original cost.