May 16, 2022 - News

Baby formula shortage strikes Colorado

Percentage of baby formula out of stock
Data: Datasembly; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

The baby formula shortage is putting a strain on families across the country and throughout Colorado.

Why it matters: Roughly 3 in 4 babies in the U.S. are fed formula by their 6-month birthdays β€” meaning the shortage could jeopardize food security for most children, Axios' Nathan Bomey writes.

What's happening: A cascade of issues with baby formula production along with distribution woes are to blame for the shortage, which began late last year and has gotten precipitously worse in recent weeks.

Zoom in: From the Western Slope to metro Denver, supplies are being squeezed in major grocery chains all over the state.

  • Several chain stores, including CVS, Safeway and Walgreens, have put nationwide limits on the number of formula purchases per person.

What they're saying: Liz Hamel, who lives in Broomfield, told Fox31 she uses a special formula for her 3-month-old's sensitive digestive system and couldn't find the product.

  • "You don't want to be changing the baby's formula because it really messes with their digestive system. So it's not like I can just go and pick any formula I want off the shelf and just start feeding him," Hamel said.
  • "My entire family just goes and finds the formula" whenever they can, Ashlee Lane, the mother of a 7-month-old, told Denver7. "My sister picked me up some in Arvada yesterday, my dad up in Thornton the other day."

What to watch: Retailers and manufacturers are now warning the shortage will drag into summer, Axios' Herb Scribner reports.

  • The CEO of Perrigo β€” one of the four companies that control nearly 90% of the U.S. market β€” told Reuters the deficit could persist for the rest of 2022.

Of note: Parents can look to several local nonprofits for support, including the Mothers' Milk Bank, Denver Inner City Parish and WeeCycle.

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