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Lane County WIC offers nutritional guidance during baby formula shortage

empty shelf with notice.jpg
Tiffany Eckert
Parents shopping for baby formula are finding some empty shelves and the notice of the product recall for several powdered formulas. This photo was taken on an aisle in Albertson's on Hilyard Street in Eugene.

The recall of powdered baby formula, produced by Abbott Nutrition, has led to a shortage nationwide. In Lane County, nervous parents seeking information and guidance have a resource in the public nutrition program, WIC.

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The baby formula shortage has been stressful for parents whose infants rely on the products.

The Women, Infants and Children program has certified, licensed dietitians who specialize in the nutritional needs of babies. During this formula shortage, Lane County’s Jason Davis said they’re available to make recommendations.

“This is a very challenging time for parents who depend on these formulas," he said. "It can be frightening. It can be a debilitating situation to not be able to provide for your infant.”

Davis said, while Lane County WIC does not have a stock of formula on hand, they can help parents make connections. One option might be the Breast Milk Bank- for mothers who both nurse and use formula.

And parents should call ahead to confirm their store or pharmacy has the right substitute formula on the shelf.

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Tiffany Eckert
Some infants have health issues requiring specific formulas for nutrition. The shortage is affecting supplies of many types of baby formula across the U.S.

Abbott Nutrition's powdered baby formula was recalled in February due to possible contamination of cronobacter and salmonella. The recall affects Similac PM 60/40 that was made at the company's Sturgis, Michigan, facility.

On Wednesday, President Biden invoked the Defense Production Act to ensure formula manufacturers are first in line for any ingredients they need. Meanwhile, Davis says all concerned parents can call on Lane County WIC for support and advice.

To contact Lane County WIC:
Phone: (541) 682-4202
Hours: Monday 8:00 am - 6:30 pm and Tuesday - Friday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

On the Lane County WIC Website for clients receiving supplemental nutrition benefits:

Temporary Choices for Powder Formula, Effective February 24, 2022
Due to the Abbott recall substitute formulas can be purchased using WIC EBT benefits until further notice.
Substitute Formula List & and Images
Sustituciones temporales para las fórmulas en polvo

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.