Parents across the D.C.-area are getting more concerned as the shortage of baby formula in the United States keeps getting worse.
Shortages have been compounding because of supply chain issues and the recent shutdown of one major manufacturer’s operations caused by possible contaminants in the formula. One mother, April Giandomenico of Wheaton, shared concerns for her 7-month-old at home.
“When you’re faced with the potential of your baby not having anything to eat, that’s nerve-wracking,” she tells WTOP
Giandomenico says this has been an especially hard week as well.
“I went to my local Costco and found that they had no baby formula whatsoever, and this isn’t the first time,” she says.
Though a Costco worker helped her track down two cans of formula across town in Bowie, Maryland, she is not the only person concerned about what will happen if the region runs out of formula. Alexis Miller of Bethesda also has had trouble finding formula for her baby, and has turned to social media.
“There’s a local formula exchange drive going on today in the area,” said Miller. She adds this situation is sad “but it’s beautiful to see people coming out for each other.”
Despite being nervous about not having enough formula for their babies, both Miller and Giandomenico are urging people not to hoard formula.
“I come into this with every privilege, so what are we doing for moms who do not have that?” Miller says.
Giondomenico says that even though she has ways to access formula, she has resisted leveraging those connections.
“All across the country and even some friends who are in France right now have offered to fill up their suitcases with formula,” she says. “I’ve discouraged them from doing that because they are taking formula away from other moms.”
Low-income families are perhaps struggling with this shortage the most, not having the funds to buy from stores and now receiving less formula from local agencies. Pamela Palumbo, Chief Executive Officer at the Pregnancy Clinic of Maryland says it’s even harder for people who are struggling to make ends meet. Her agency has been forced to limit how much it can give away.
“We still have some formula at our three clinics in Bowie, Annapolis and Severna Park, but our supplies are getting quite low,” Palumbo says.
Rebecca Kolowe the Interim Director of the Greater D.C. Diaper Bank, says their supply of formula could be gone by the end of the month so donations will be useful.
“If you have it at home and don’t need it, donating to us is a great way to get to into the hands of a family who needs it.”