Please find below message released today from the Division of Public Health and the Wisconsin WIC Program; this is the information being shared with families served by WIC and FoodShare.
The most up-to-date information will be made available at the WIC home page; it is important to note that families should not throw away unused cans of formula but instead follow the instructions on the WIC page to exchange the product.
There is a national shortage of baby formula. This situation has caused many families stress and might be overwhelming. This email lists resources that partners can share with affected families.
In February, Abbott issued a recall of their powder formulas. Since the recall happened, other companies that make and distribute baby formula have not been able to keep up with demand.
Information for families that can’t find formula
Many babies on standard formulas can switch to any formula that’s available, including store brands. This could be a good option for a few days while families try to find their baby’s normal formula.
We also recommend that families check smaller stores or drug stores, as they may have more stock than big stores with more customers.
Families that can’t find formula, or are running low, should talk with their child’s health care provider or WIC clinic before feeding them something other than formula. To prevent health problems for babies, families are advised to:
Never water down baby formula or make their own.
Not give a child cow’s milk before they are 1 year old.
This interview with a doctor from the American Academy of Pediatrics provides more information.
The following resources about breastfeeding and breastmilk may be helpful:
For parents who want to breastfeed or delay weaning, they can visit our breastfeeding webpage for information and support.
Parents looking for breastmilk donations can visit the Mother’s Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes website.
Families considering using breastmilk that is not from a certified milk bank should make sure the donor is a trusted family member or friend. Ideally, donors should be tested to make sure they are free of any illnesses they could pass along. More guidance on breastmilk substitutesis available from the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.
Using WIC and FoodShare to buy formula
DHS aims to support families who buy food using Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) or FoodShare throughout this shortage.
WIC is offering as many formula substitutions as possible during this time. The most current list of formula substitutes can be found in English and Spanish on our website.
FoodShare never limits the brands members can buy.
Families may be able to find formula without traveling by shopping online. Also, some online retailers may have more formula in stock right now than their local stores. FoodShare members can use their benefits to shop online at the websites for the stores listed below:
Miller and Son’s Supermarket
Some stores offer curbside pick-up or delivery. FoodShare members will need to use another form of payment for any fees (like for delivery) or non-food items. Families that need help with online ordering should start by calling the store. FoodShare members that need help with their QUEST cards should call QUEST Card Service at 877-415-5164.
Food pantries, charitable organizations, and others may be able to help with formula as well. WIC clinics can help connect families to local food pantries.