Find Formula During the Infant Formula Shortage

We are working to ensure that infant formula is safe and available for families across the country. If you are unable to readily find formula, the following resources may be able to assist:

Connect with 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.
  • Call 211: United Way’s 2-1-1 connects you to a community resource specialist affiliated with United Way who may be able to help you find food pantries and other charitable sources of local infant formula and baby food.
  • Find an accredited milk bank through the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) that distributes donated breast milk to mothers in need. Please note that some may require a prescription from a medical professional.

For WIC-Eligible Families

Guidance for Parents and Caretakers

  • 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.
  • Do not water down formula, try to make formula at home, or use toddler formula to feed infants.
  • Do not 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.
  • Find more guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Manufacturer Hotlines*

*Given that parents and caregivers across the country have questions, you may experience high wait times. We understand many products at these manufacturers are currently sold out at stores and online. These manufacturers are working overtime to meet demand and service representatives will be able to assist identifying products as they are restocked.

Steps We’re Taking

We are working around the clock to address the shortage and help families access infant formula. Federal actions include:

  • The Administration invoked the Defense Production Act, which puts U.S. formula manufacturers first in line to receive the resources they need to increase production domestically.
  • The Administration is working with other countries to get more formula on shelves and is coordinating with the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to airlift formula from other countries to the U.S.
  • As part of Consent Decree of Permanent Injunction negotiated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan with Abbott Nutrition, Abbott has agreed to take corrective actions that will allow it to resume production at the facility in Michigan and get more formula on shelves.
    • Once production at the facility resumes, Abbott will first focus on specialty formulas for infants with metabolic and other needs.
  • FDA has been meeting regularly with major infant formula manufacturers who are working to maximize their production to meet new demands. Read more about FDA’s actions.
  • USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service has granted waivers of certain WIC regulations to WIC agencies across the country so that they can take immediate action to ensure that WIC participants can exchange their recalled baby formula and use WIC benefits to purchase products that have not been recalled. 

About the 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.

Content created by Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs (ASPA)
Content last reviewed