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How the nationwide baby formula shortage is impacting Mississippi families

Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 6:39 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Desperate parents across the state are struggling to find baby formula for their newborns and many say they don’t know what to do if they run out.

“Whatever you have to do to make your baby happy, you do it. But when there’s a shortage of the formula that you need, then it makes everybody in a tough situation,” Grenada mother Kayla Wolfe said.

“Out of Stock” has become a phrase in many parents’ vocabulary since baby formula became almost impossible to find.

“The Walmart app will say they have their formula in stock, and they get there and they’re just reduced to a puddle of tears because it’s not there,” Madison Berry said.

Madison and Bryce Berry are new parents to 2-month-old Layton, who has stomach problems and needs a specific formula she can digest.

With nothing on the shelves, they tried several methods to find Layton’s food.

“We’ve been reaching out to friends and families in different cities in different states. Hey, you know, when you go by the grocery store, can you just happen to swing through the formula and see if maybe you happen to see this certain formula? If you do, you know, I’ll pay for it. I’ll pay for shipping,” Berry said.

According to Datasembly, during the first week in April, 31% of infant formula was out of stock nationwide.

That’s hurting mothers who can’t breastfeed in the Magnolia State like Kayla Wolfe and her 8-month-old son Mason.

“My little boy has been on Enfamil AR since he was four weeks old. If I were to up and change his formula today to give him something that was just, you know, lying on the shelf that he absolutely needed, then sure, I would try it. But it’s gonna make whatever situation he already has worse,” Wolfe said.

Berry and Wolfe said the shortage is impacting them and other mothers emotionally because they can’t provide for their newborns.

“It has gotten to the point where moms are breaking down and crying because they can’t find what they need,” Wolfe explained.

“They trust you to keep them fed, keep them clean, and keep them happy. And when that’s something that you are fearful of not being able to provide for your child, mentally it takes a major toll,” Berry said.

Berry added that during a shortage, it’s important that new parents don’t overstock and only buy what they need. That way, no baby will go hungry.

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