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Governor Hochul announces relief for families during formula shortage

Newborn Baby Drinking Formula Bottle
Posted at 2:58 PM, May 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-13 16:08:18-04

ALBANY, NY (WKBW) — Governor Hochul announced on Thursday resources to help NY families amid the current infant formula shortages.

The shortages are the result of a February recall of food produced by Abbott Nutrition's Sturgis.

Since then the FDA has been working with Abbott and other manufacturers to bring safe products to the U.S. market

"In close coordination with our federal partners, New York State will continue to do everything possible to support New York families in need of formula for their infants," Governor Hochul said. "My administration is committed to ensuring every newborn and child has access to the nutritional support they need to stay healthy.

Through management of the New York State WIC Program, the New York State Department of Health continues to monitor supply chain disruptions that may be impacting its participants.

The formula supply issues they are seeing now has allowed the department to increase communication with manufacturers to monitor the production of can sizes, supply, and shipments.

The New York State WIC Program has been able to help participants obtain the formulas needed through alternate stores with the formulas in stock and coordinate with manufacturers to get formula to participants when they cannot find it locally.

"Reports of infant formula supply shortages are concerning, and we urge New York families to follow the Department's recommendations as we continue to monitor the situation.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said. "New York families should work with their infant's medical provider if a new formula suggestion is needed to meet their infant's needs."

In an effort to meet current demand, many stores are limiting the amount of formula customers can purchase at one time. It is important that families don't hoard formula, which will further impact the supply chain and other families in their community. For families struggling to find the formula they need for their baby, the Department recommends the following:

  • Call your OBGYN or the infant's medical provider to see if they have in office samples or can suggest a similar formula that may be more readily available in stores that is nutritionally similar to meet the infant's needs. 
  • Switch to another brand or type that's available, if recommended by the infant's medical provider.
  • Contact a local New York State Women, Infants and Children Office [] or prescreen with Wanda [], the Department's chatbot, to see if the infant is eligible for WIC benefits.
  • Families with WIC should check the New York State Women, Infants and Children vendor site [] to find a list of WIC approved vendors who may have formula in stock.
  • Visit smaller stores and drugstores that carry formula. You may want to call first to see if they have formula in stock.
  • Look online for options available but be sure to only order from well-recognized distributors and pharmacies. Don't buy formula online from people you don't know on social media sites, online auctions, or overseas.
  • Check the lot code [] on the formula that you already have to make sure it wasn't recalled. Don't throw away formula that wasn't part of the recall, unless it is expired.
  • Be sure to follow the formula manufacturer's preparation and storage instructions.
  • Don't use toddler formula to feed infants.
  • Don't water down formula or try to make infant formula at home [].
  • Expectant individuals are encouraged to consult with a provider about breastfeeding their infant. The New York State WIC program also provides breastfeeding support [] and resources to new families. Families feeding a baby with human milk from a source other than the baby's mother should only use milk from a source that has screened its milk donors and taken other precautions to ensure the safety of its milk.