March 13th, 2023

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is calling on the Biden Administration and state officials to take action to combat the baby formula shortage.

“I have heard directly from my constituents who are forced to struggle to feed their babies and have to travel over 100 miles roundtrip to find baby formula. My office has contacted the Biden Administration to immediately address this issue, and I am continuing my push to provide flexibility for WIC suppliers to increase baby formula supply. I will continue to bring the concerns of families in New York’s 21st District to the highest levels, so families in my district will not have to worry about how they will feed their babies,” Stefanik said.

Local legislators are also calling for action, including Rita Curran, District 15, Glenn Webster, District 11 and Ben Hull, District 8.

“The baby formula shortage is still affecting citizens all over the North Country. In fact, I am frequently hearing from constituents that baby formula is sparse all over. Some stores do not take WIC, which is creating additional stress for those less apt to be able to travel or pay extra in order to get the formula they need. This is all very concerning as the Biden administration has not adequately addressed this continuing shortage,” said Curran.

St. Lawrence County WIC Coordinator Ariel J. Perry also spoke to the hardships families are currently facing with the supply chain shortage.

“Almost daily, my staff and I find ourselves frustrated with this topic and at a loss on how we are to help our families. We are a program put in place to help provide healthy nutrition to our families including our most vulnerable population, infants. But how beneficial can the formula benefits be if our families aren’t able to find their baby’s formula is stores. Hours are spent navigating participant concerns, calling around to stores and emailing our Vendor department in hopes that we can locate even just a can of formula to get them through a bit longer, hoping that this distribution issue resolves. The addition of the other temporary formula brands/container sizes seemed to help for a while but then issues started picking back up again. Now even the additional formulas that can be purchased with WIC are hard to locate in stores,“ she said.

Stefanik had previously sent a letter to the FDA, calling on them to address safety and supply concerns regarding baby formula after a recall of powdered formulas led to numerous illnesses in infants.

Stefanik then called on the FDA in May to provide a clear timeline regarding the restocking efforts and long-term plans to minimize supply chain disruptions of baby formula nationwide.

Stefanik led the Babies Need Formula Now Act to increase the baby formula supply for parents as soon as possible. She also introduced a bipartisan amendment to address limited options for WIC mothers by expanding baby formula contracting from one to two suppliers in the WIC program during a committee markup of House Democrats’ child nutrition bill, but Democrats struck it down.

View the full story from North Country Now here.