BLUE ASH, Ohio - Baby formula is becoming difficult to find in some states, and the situation is causing concerns for Ohio food pantries.
Claire Salter, an Operation Give Back volunteer in Blue Ash, says she's very worried because there's not much baby formula left on the nonprofit organization's pantry shelves.
"It terrifies me," said Salter.
“These six or seven, eight cans we have — that’s all we have right now,” she added.
Some mothers are unable to breastfeed their babies, and rely only on formula to provide nutrition. Salter says the Operation Give Back pantry serves approximately 150 families each month, and helps parents who can't afford to buy baby formula.
Salter says she’ll do whatever it takes to keep the shelves full at Operation Give Back.
“I have been checking online and things to see if it’s still available,” she explained.
Salter says she's finding online prices to be on the rise.
Supply chain problems, labor shortages and parents stockpiling formula due to fears about availability, have all been blamed for the shortages.
While certain brands may not be readily available, that's not the case for the entire industry.
Perrigo, which makes store brand formula in Ohio, indicated its supply is unaffected.
In a statement on the manufacturer's website, it says, “We are not presently aware of any current or pending disruptions to our supply of formula."
The company goes on to say it's working with stores to deliver more of its products.
In the meantime, Operation Give Back is trying to figure out how to manage the needs of families in the community.
“For now, we trust people’s kindness and generosity that they take what they need, and save some for the next person,” said Salter.
She says they’re relying on donations to try and keep families and babies fed.
“We can’t and we won’t run out,” said Salter.
If you'd like to help Operation Give Back, you can find more information here.
If you run out of your preferred baby formula and are unable to find it in stores or online, experts suggest calling your pediatrician to see what you might be able to use as a replacement.