Information on formula shortages for WIC participants

Tips for finding the formula

The range of formulas may differ per store and region:

  • Try calling ahead or search the website of a WIC store or pharmacy to check their stock. If you’re buying a formula without taking advantage of WIC benefits, make sure to shop at reputable stores or pharmacies.
  • Check smaller stores and drug stores. They may not be sold out if the bigger stores are.
  • If you can’t find the brand of your favorite formula, check the Michigan WIC Temporary Choices for Powdered Formulas list and try to find a different brand at local stores.
  • If you cannot find your formula or a replacement in the store, please contact a store associate. Sometimes an extra formula is placed behind a counter at a different location, or they can tell you when their next shipment is expected.
  • Only buy the formula that is needed quickly (10-14 days) and avoid stockpiling. This helps other families access the formula and gives stores time to restock their shelves.
  • Keep in mind that some stores may limit the number of formula products that customers can purchase.
  • Check food pantries, charities, and others who may be able to help. Call 211 or your local WIC clinic for more information about local food pantries.
  • If you can’t find the formula, you can also call your health care provider. They may have examples or ideas about other local agencies that can help.

Infant Formula Deficiency Do’s and Don’ts

What must we do

  • To do give your baby breast milk or infant formula.
  • To do If necessary, call your WIC Breastfeeding Support Clinic and click here for more information on breastfeeding, including milk sharing.
  • To do see the tips for finding formula above and the Michigan WIC temporary powder formula choices if your baby’s formula is hard to find. If you can’t find your baby’s formula, including the temporary replacements, call your WIC clinic for help.
  • To do contact your WIC clinic or health care provider if your baby is receiving special formula for allergies or a medical condition and you cannot find the special formula.

What not to do

  • Do not feed your baby homemade formula. This is unsafe and will not meet your baby’s nutritional needs. Click here to learn more about the dangers of homemade baby food.
  • Do not ‘water down’ infant formula to stretch it further. This should never be done. Adding extra water to the formula can dilute protein and mineral levels and lead to low blood sodium levels and other electrolyte disturbances that may require hospitalization.
  • Do not give your baby cow’s milk, goat’s milk or plant-based milk until they are at least one year old, as this milk contains no nutrients and can cause digestive problems. In rare, emergency situations, whole cows can be given to healthy infants over 6 months of age, for no more than 1 week, if supported by your health care provider. Click here to learn more about formula milk alternatives and talk to your health care provider if you’re considering their use.
  • Do not buy formula from sources that are not reliable as it may be a scam.
  • Do not buy or use a recalled formula.

For more information, click here: What should I do if I can’t find anything about the baby food shortage?

Sources

Find more resources on the Michigan WIC website about the recalls and changes to the formula offerings.

Get help

We encourage WIC families to contact their local WIC clinic for assistance. Families can also contact their healthcare provider, local health authority, or community organizations. If you have any questions or concerns about feeding your baby, or if you are using formulas for special medical needs, talk to your health care provider.

US Department of Health and Human Services: Find Formula During Infant Formula Shortage website

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