LUFKIN, Texas (KETK) – It is a story KETK News has been following for months. Parents are struggling to find baby formula.
Shortages are typically short-lived, but months after the Similac recall, baby formula is still hard to come by. Infants’ lives depend on the nutrients they need to grow and live. For some parents, baby formula is their only option.
Charity Roberts is an East Texas mother from Lufkin.
“When you walk in a store and you can’t find formula and you see someone in the front checking out with 10 cans of what you needed. You’re not making it up. You’re watching it happen in real life, and you can’t do anything about it,” said Roberts.
The Lufkin mother is frustrated and does not know what to do.
“People at home that don’t really have children they think ‘oh just pop some milk in a bottle and give it to it,’” said Roberts. “No, there are certain vitamins and things in formula that if these babies are not getting they’re not growing right.”
Roberts’ 5-month-old baby needs a specific hypoallergenic formula.
“When we can’t find it we normally go to a town over,” said Roberts. “When we’re in Lufkin we normally go to Nacogdoches.”
Parents have been driving out of town in hopes of finding what their baby needs.
Jill Smith is with Wonder Women Outreach in Troup.
“Just today I’ve probably seen 20-something people that cannot find what they need,” said Smith. “They are willing to drive you know one, two, three hours to find it.”
Store shelves are wiped clean and parents are in a desperate search, a search that has lasted months with no end in sight.
“I don’t know how long this is going to last, and we’re going to have to work together to help these moms and babies,” said Smith.
Wonder Women Outreach provides free baby formula donated by the community. If you are in need of formula, Smith also recommends speaking with your pediatrician for options.
The FDA released a statement Wednesday regarding the baby formula shortage, stating their efforts to solve this shortage. They said they are working to increase the availability of infant and specialty formula products.