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Families turn to social media to find baby formula in St. Louis region

A Facebook group helping mothers is growing as the baby formula shortage continues.
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 10:16 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - Families in the St. Louis region are turning to social media sites like Facebook to find baby formula during a nationwide shortage.

Supply chain disruptions and a recall caused the shortage across the country.

O’Fallon, Missouri mother Shalee Turner went to the Facebook group St. Louis Formula Swap looking for relief.

“Me and my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law drove around for about three, four hours this morning looking for cans,” Turner said. “We finally found it after four hours, but she even called Cape Girardeau and Lake of the Ozarks, and Columbia and they didn’t have the one she was looking for. My daughter--she was on Similac, and then once they had the recall it made me nervous. So, I switched her to Enfamil and now you can find the Similac she was on everywhere. So, I think everyone was like ‘I’m not using it anymore,’ so, now you can’t find the Enfamil. I had joined a couple of pages on Facebook looking for formula from there. But I have noticed that people that are selling it on Facebook are jacking the prices dramatically. I know if I ever have extra and there’s a mom on there asking, I’m more than willing to give it to them just cause I know the struggle as a mom.”

Families are also turning to places like St. Louis Crisis Nursery, which accepts donations and gives formula to families.

“When the recall happened of the most popular formulas we had to throw out 400 cans of formula,” Jane Beckman with St. Louis Crisis Nursery said. “Enfamil and Similac are two of the big ones. Any of the specialty formulas are really hard to find. The transportation is such an issue for our families to drive to five Wal-marts is just not going to happen.”

On Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services also launched a site (HHS.gov/formula) which features information including manufacturer hotlines, community resources and other guidance. It also has a link for WIC-eligible families to reach out to a local office for assistance.