‘How is this not the biggest story?’ Young parents hit panic mode as baby formula shortage worsens

Oh, baby—we’re in trouble now.

The nation’s shortage of baby formula continues to worsen, and parents of infants across the country are beginning to notice. Now they’re posting pleas on social media for increased media coverage, and hopefully some meaningful political action, to resolve the crisis.

The current crisis began, as with so much else, during the COVID-19 pandemic, when manufacturers of baby formula began facing a series of supply-chain issues, including problems sourcing ingredients, acquiring packaging materials, and hiring enough labor. Then, in February, things got worse when Abbott Labs recalled certain of its Alimentum, Similac, and EleCare formulas, which were tied to five infants contracting a Coronobacter sakazakii infection. One of the infants subsequently died of the infection.

“How is this not the biggest story in America?” wrote New York Post columnist Karol Markowicz, after retweeting a post by a woman whose Amazon delivery of baby formula was canceled.


She’s not alone in asking this question. A number of frustrated moms have posted similar horror stories, and are wondering why the story isn’t gaining more traction in the mainstream media.

“Haven’t seen mine on the shelves the last 4-5 grocery trips. Subscription on Amazon has been out of stock for a while. Hoping my online order doesn’t get canceled! Thankfully my babies are 1 and currently being weaned off it but I can imagine the moms with infants,” one mom wrote.

The problem has metastasized beyond the issue of finding specific formulas that a baby can tolerate. Now it’s a matter of finding any baby formula at all.

In New York, the mother of a newborn told Fox Business that she was reliant on baby formula to supplement her infant’s diet, but was having trouble finding any.

“When we ran to the local Target one day to get some [formula] just days after she was born,” the new mom explained, “the shelves were completely empty. My heart literally sank. Luckily she doesn’t need any special formula and I was able to order online, but not everyone has been as lucky. Our neighbor said her family member can’t find the sensitive type of formula for their newborn, who has stomach issues, anywhere. They’re in a panic daily not knowing if they’ll be able to feed their newborn tomorrow or the day after; my heart breaks for those parents.”

It’s a serious issue and one that illustrates how the economic, domestic, and foreign policy crises that have multiplied under the Biden administration are beginning to affect people’s lives. Few things are more terrifying than a mother who can’t feed her child and is looking for someone to blame. Increasingly, these mothers are taking to social media to demand action.

“The baby formula shortage is unreal!!! GET THESE BABIES SOME FOOD!!!!!!!!!!!” one mom tweeted, with pictures of empty shelves at a grocery store.


A report by Fox 29 underscores the bleak picture: Datasembly, a retail data firm, shows that 40-50% of major formula brands were sold out last week in 26 states. Even worse, six states—Iowa, South Dakota, Missouri, Texas, and Tennessee—had more than 50% of formula sold out. In response, major retailers including Walmart, Walgreens, Target, and CVS are implementing limits on how many cans of formula customers can purchase at one time.

Meanwhile, some are now calling on the White House to get involved.

But most people aren’t holding their breath.


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Todd Jaquith


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