As national shortage of baby formula worsens, problem hits home in western Virginia

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 7:30 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - As the national shortage of baby formula grows worse in other states, the problem continues to cause anxiety for parents here in western Virginia.

And agencies that work with new mothers in our area say it could be a few months before the shelves are fully stocked again.

Finding enough infant formula probably wasn’t the challenge most new parents were anticipating, but it’s a real problem, says CHIP of the Roanoke Valley CEO Rachel Hopkins. And it’s affecting people in our area.

“It’s an issue that we’re seeing in national news. It’s an issue that’s hitting home with our families,” Hopkins told WDBJ7 Thursday morning.

Supply chain issues that started during the pandemic, a major recall and a plant shutdown have all contributed to empty shelves across the country. And despite efforts on the federal level to open supply lines and increase production, Hopkins says the problem will likely be with us a while.

“Once the FDA does give the green light, you know we’re going to be looking at the next 10 or 12 weeks waiting for shelves to be re-stocked,” she said. “It’s definitely not just something to think about for today, but let’s think about how we can navigate the next couple of months and really be there for our families.”

Hopkins said there are resources for people who might be having trouble finding formula, including assistance from non-profits like CHIP of the Roanoke Valley, religious organizations, food pantries and even Facebook support groups.

Viewers of WDBJ7 also stepped up after a story we aired two weeks ago.

Hopkins said CHIP received, and distributed, several shipments of formula, after viewers went to the CHIP of the Roanoke Valley Amazon Wish List Page and ordered the product online.

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