(WSYR-TV) — Governor Hochul announced Thursday some resources for families amidst the nation-wide baby formula shortage.
One of these resources is your local county Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program. These programs provide nutritional education, breastfeeding support, and eWIC cards which can be used to purchase approved foods. WIC services can be found at these locations:
- Onondaga County Health Department in Syracuse and Liverpool
- Oswego County Opportunities Inc. in Oswego
- Cayuga County Health Department in Auburn
- Community Action Program for Madison County Inc. in Utica and Rome
- Cortland County Community Action Program in Cortland
You can use the WIC Program chatbot ‘Wanda’ to receive direct online navigation assistance.
Governor Hochul also says that you can utilize your OBGYN or infant medical provider to see if you can get office samples of formula, look for online options (but be wary of scams!), and consult with providers about the possibility of breastfeeding. You can also connect with other parents online to swap and sell leftover supplies.
If you struggle with other baby needs, like diapers, you can check out the CNY Diaper Bank. They are currently matching donations, up to $10,000.
The New York State Consumer Protection office also offered support of their own for those who are not able to find formula.
They say if you have to buy formula online or on the secondary market to speak to your child’s healthcare provider first to make sure what you are buying is safe for your child.
Plenty of mothers are struggling with these issues. Some are not able to find any formula at the store and when they finally do its marked up by almost 20 percent.
Valarie Farnsworth, a concerned mother, says her trips to the supermarket are no longer simple.
“The casual mom trip to target has turned into me hunting down every target in town trying to find this formula,” she said.
“Not only can we not find it but when we do find it there is always a 20 percent markup on it.”
Abbott Nutrition, a supplier of baby formula that had to be shut down in February, said that pending FDA approval, will be able to start producing formula within the next two weeks. If that is able to happen, enough formula will be back on the shelves in six to eight weeks.