- Karen Edmond
Alert From The A.M.E. Church International Health Commission General Secretary Dr. Jeffrey Cooper
Please find below important information for families from Rev. Miriam J. Burnett, MD, MPH, Medical Director, AMEC International Health Commission, regarding the Baby Formula Shortage:
Baby Formula Shortage - Helpful Information for Families Rev. Dr. Natalie Mitchem, Ed.D., Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Executive Director Fact Sheet from the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs: 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. 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.”
HHS and ASPA recommend the following resources to help find available baby formula:
Manufacturer Hotlines -Gerber’s My Gerber (https://www.hhs.gov/web/policies-and-standards/hhs-web-policies/disclaimer/index.html): 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 (https://abbottnutrition.com/metabolics): ask your OBGYN or your infant’s pediatrician to submit an urgent product request by downloading and completing the PDF form: Metabolics_Urgent_Product_RequestForm_FA04a.pdf - Reckitt’s Customer Service line: call 1-800 BABY-123 (222-9123)
Community Resources -Locate your nearest Community Action Agency (CAA) (https://www.hhs.gov/web/policies-and-standards/hhs-web-policies/disclaimer/index.html). 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 (https://www.hhs.gov/web/policies-and-standards/hhs-web-policies/disclaimer/index.html): 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 (https://www.hhs.gov/web/policies-and-standards/hhs-web-policies/disclaimer/index.html) : 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) (https://www.hhs.gov/web/policies-and-standards/hhs-web-policies/disclaimer/index.html): 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 (https://www.hmbana.org/find-a-milk-bank/)
- Contact your local WIC office (https://www.signupwic.com) to identify or obtain additional sources of infant formula nearby.
-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 the formula, try to make formula at home, or use toddler formula to feed infants. Don’t discard the formula unless it is expired or is part of the recall. Check your formula’s lot code (https://www.similacrecall.com/us/en/product-lookup.html) to see whether or not it was affected by the recall. -You can find more guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics. (Source: https://www.hhs.gov/formula/index.html - Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs [ASPA]) “Susan Levin, MS, RD, CSSD, director of nutrition education for the Physicians Committee, stated there is no shortage of soy baby formula, and human milk (breast milk) banks are also available. For infants without a soy allergy, soy-based baby formulas are healthful options for infants and provide the nutrients the baby needs in the first six months of life.” (Source: https://www.pcrm.org/news/news-releases/5-essential-tips-parents-need-baby-formula).
Breast milk is a healthy option for babies. WIC, La Leche League International, Mater Mea, and many pediatricians recommend breast milk which contains nutrients to support growth and development. WIC, Mater Mea, and the La Leche League International offer resources and training on how to breastfeed, store breast milk, and express breast milk. Mater Mea provides a list of fourteen breastfeeding support groups for Black moms (https://matermea.com/14-breastfeeding-support-groups-for-black-moms/). Visit the La Leche League International (https://www.llli.org), WIC, and Mater Mea websites for more information and discuss all options with your child’s pediatrician.
Please find below a PDF version of the information above: Baby_Formual_Shortage_Helpful_Information_for_Families_.pdf
Peace, Rev. Dr. Jeffery B. Cooper General Secretary/CIO Senior General Officer