NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — Baby formula recalls lead to a nationwide shortage, and the FDA said it’s doing everything it can to get formula back on store shelves.
Northwest Arkansas isn’t exempt from the nationwide baby formula shortage. Many moms, like Erika Ferguson from Rogers, said if you head to a local grocery store, odds are the selection is small in the formula aisle.
In fact, many families are turning to Facebook groups and baby formulas across different states in order to feed their babies.
Another place to look is your local food pantry. Zoe Smith, the volunteer director at Life Source International in Fayetteville, said the food pantry is supplied by government supplemental nutrition programs– such as WIC, so they’re not short on supply.
Ferguson qualifies for WIC by being a full-time student and that’s where her supply of formula is coming from as well. She also said her friends and family make a point to stop in CVS or Walmart each time they are near by to check if the stores have the formula she uses as well.
“If you’re if you get formula from WIC, you only have a certain amount of formulas that you can choose from,” said Ferguson.
Not all formulas work for all babies, making it difficult for families to work with what’s on the shelves. For example, Ferguson uses Enfamil Nutramigen Hypoallergenic infant formula and said her pediatrician recommends she sticks with it since her son is used to it, rather than looking for one that’s available at more stores.
“It is exhausting to change formulas with your baby, especially if they’ve got tummy problems. So that alone is a whole process that can take weeks,” said Ferguson.
Although, changing formulas might not even be an option if the shelves are bare.
“If it comes to the point where we don’t have formula, we have to figure out other ways and means to feed our babies. It’s very, very, very important that we have formula provided here,” said Smith.
Some parents are starting to make their own formulas at home. There are viral posts circulating social media of different recipes, but the FDS advises against making your own formulas.
So, if you’re in need, Life Source International, as well as other pantries in the area said to try getting formula from them. Smith said there’s no stipulations to qualify at Life Source International, all you need to bring is your ID.