By Judd Legum, Tesnim Zekeria, and Rebecca Crosby: For Complete Post, Click Here…
Throughout the country, there is an acute shortage of baby formula that millions of families rely on to feed their children. According to research from Datasembly, “the national out-of-stock rate for baby formula reached 43 percent” last week. That’s up from 31% last month, 11% in November, and the low single digits in the first seven months of 2021.
The result is that many parents are struggling to keep their children fed. Some are driving hours to find a place with formula in stock. Others are paying exorbitant prices from resellers seeking to exploit the crisis. Many have been forced to ration their supply, watering down the formula and potentially leaving their children undernourished.
There are a variety of reasons why baby formula is in short supply. For months, the industry has struggled with supply chain challenges related to the pandemic. Then in February, Abbott Nutrition — one of a handful of major manufacturers — recalled three popular varieties of formula. Four babies were hospitalized with bacterial infections after drinking the formula and two died. The Michigan plant where the formula was manufactured remains closed.