HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — The baby formula shortage is hitting crisis levels for families across the country and here in the Tampa Bay area. Many moms said after searching high and low, they’re still coming up short.
“Right now, it’s almost impossible to find any formula on the shelves, and he needs a specialty formula actually because he has a milk intolerance,” Alyssa Taylor said.
Seven-month-old Charlie is all smiles, but the growing formula shortage is leaving Taylor, his mom, with only frustration.
“When I call the pediatrician’s office they say, ‘Yeah, I’m so sorry. You’re the second or third mom to call today,” Taylor said. “There’s not a single mom that I can think of that’s not being affected by it.”
It’s an issue that families all across the country are dealing with since a recall and existing supply chain issues started crippling baby formula supplies.
“Empty, completely empty,” Taylor said. “The other day, my husband and I walked down the aisle, and it was just the entire row, just completely empty. You can find maybe four or five different cans total on the shelf.”
Those bare shelves have parents scrambling for solutions, trying everything to make sure their babies are fed.
“It’s gotten to the point where I’ve resorted to trying to get my own milk supply back,” Taylor said. “I’m literally doing everything I can: taking supplements, talking to all these different moms, trying different pumps, just doing literally anything I can to produce milk for him.”
“Being a mom is hard in itself, and this is just not a situation that we should be in,” Kristi Shearer said.
Shearer has a 15-month-old who has had dairy allergies and is 20 weeks pregnant. Friday morning, she went to three different stores.
“I’ve been a Google connoisseur, and I’ve been able to plan ahead, know how long each can can last,” Shearer said. “Going online and searching in our area, going and asking customer service at the local stores if they can look for you.”
Moms across the Tampa Bay area hope this crisis comes to an end fast to help keep kids, just like Charlie, happy and healthy.
“We would really love for the government maybe to step in, help these producers step up their supply, step up the supply chain, whatever the issue is,” Taylor said. “We need help, and we’re not getting it. We can’t do it on our own.”