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Richmond nonprofit hopes to help with baby formula shortage

Posted at 7:45 AM, Jan 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-26 07:45:37-05

RICHMOND, Va. — Shortages of baby formula across the country are causing hardships for Central Virginia parents.

Urban Baby Beginnings, a nonprofit that advocates for birthing and postpartum families, said they are seeing a lot of families concerned about not being able to feed their babies.

"You can imagine the stress, the anxiety, the depression, the moms start facing when they're at a point where they think 'I can't feed my baby,' or only have enough for one or two bottles left," explained Phyllis Bradley, eastern regional director for Urban Baby Beginning. "So, we're really seeing that increase across the state saying, I need help, please help."

Finding baby formula of any kind is proving to be a challenge for families, with experts from retail research firm IRI telling CBS News the shortage has gotten worse over the past month.

The Infant Nutrition Council of America also acknowledged there are some supply issues telling CBS News in a statement, "Broadly, there are reports of challenges across retail supply chains, from transportation and logistics to some anecdotal evidence suggesting pantry-loading behaviors, which can put increased pressure on in-store inventory."

Reckitt, which makes the baby formula Enfamil, said they have ample supply of their formula, despite some families not being able to find it on store shelves. The company is taking steps to ramp up production.

They are now shipping 50% more product to address these supply issues.

However, Reckitt also noted to CBS News that the U.S. baby formula sales industry-wide are up 18%, which is more than double birth rates.

Meanwhile, Urban Baby Beginnings is working to make sure no baby goes hungry — but the group notes rising prices and increased demand have made it difficult for them to get their hands on the much-needed formula.

"Unfortunately, the demand is ever increasing, especially with the cost of formula now," said Bradley. "And it's like, we really need a lot of help. We're asking the community to please come help because we cannot afford to have a baby hungry."

The nonprofit is asking those with extra baby formula or formula they no longer need to reach out to them via telephone at 1-833-782-2229 to set up an appointment to drop it off at one of their offices in Richmond or Petersburg.

"Just know, you're not alone," Bradley explained. "Just ask and sometimes the ask is hard, but know that Urban Baby Beginnings is here to support you. So please reach out and let us know."

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