Department of Health and Human Services offers resources during infant formula shortage

Fact Sheet: Helping Families Find Formula During the Infant Formula Shortage

To address infant formula shortages in the wake of Abbott Nutrition’s voluntary recall of certain powdered infant formulas, the Biden-Harris Administration is working to ensure that infant formula is safe and available for families across the country. Yesterday, President Biden spoke with retailers and manufacturers, including Walmart, Target, Reckitt, and Gerber, to discuss ways to get more formula quickly and safely onto store shelves. He also announced a series of actions, including cutting red tape on the types of formula parents can buy, calling on the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general to crack down on price gouging and unfair market practices, and increasing the supply of formula through increased imports.

Thanks to these efforts, manufacturers have ramped up production 30-50 percent, bringing total production today above pre-recall levels with a different mix of products and sizes now available in the market. Still, it’s clear that too many families continue to encounter challenges obtaining infant formula—especially families of about 5,000 infants as well as some older children and adults with rare metabolic diseases that depend on specialty formulas.

If you are unable to readily find formula, please consult the following resources that may be able to assist:

Manufacturer Hotlines

  • Gerber’s MyGerber Baby Expert : reach a certified nutrition or lactation consultant by phone, text, Facebook Messenger, web chat, or video call, who can help you identify a similar formula that may be more readily available
  • Abbott’s Consumer Hotline: call 1-800-986-8540
  • Abbott’s urgent product request line : ask your OBGYN or your infant’s pediatrician to submit an urgent product request by downloading and completing the form – PDF 
  • Reckitt’s Customer Service line: call 1-800 BABY-123 (222-9123)

Community Resources

  • Locate your nearest Community Action Agency (CAA) . Your neighborhood CAA may be able to provide you with formula or connect you with local agencies that have formula in stock.
  • United Way’s 2-1-1 : dial 2–1-1 to be connected to a community resource specialist affiliated with United Way who may be able to help you identify food pantries and other charitable sources of local infant formula and baby food.
  • Feeding America : call your local food bank to ask whether they have infant formula and other supplies in stock.
  • Human Milk Banking Association of North America  (HMBANA): certain HMBANA-accredited milk banks are distributing donated breast milk to mothers in need; please note that some may require a prescription from a medical professional. Find an HMBANA-accredited milk bank .

WIC-Eligible Families

  • Contact your local WIC office to identify or obtain additional sources of infant formula nearby. In Malheur County, WIC can be contacted at 541-889-7279.

General Guidance

  • Call your OBGYN or pediatrician to see if they have in-office samples or can suggest a similar formula that may be more readily available in stores and is nutritionally similar to your infant’s typical formula.
  • You should not water down formula, try to make formula at home, or use toddler formula to feed infants. Don’t discard formula unless it is expired or is part of the recall. Check your formula’s lot code  to see whether or not it was affected by the recall.
  • Keep smaller retailers in mind when looking for infant formula. Larger retailers tend to sell out more quickly.
  • You can find more guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics .