AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – A mixture of supply chain disruptions, combined with safety recalls, has led to widespread shortages of baby formula across Texas and the rest of the United States. With millions of babies across the country reliant on baby formula for their sole source of nutrition, many parents have been left scrambling for resources.
The Motherhood Center in Houston recently said that families have driven across state lines looking for milk and formula, and some parents have ordered from other countries. Meanwhile, some pediatricians have felt the need to warn struggling families against trying to make baby formula on their own. The American Academy of Pediatrics also advised that families should not feed homemade formula to their babies, or water down the formula.
While it may be safe for families to switch their children to a different brand of baby formula that is available in stores, under the advice of a pediatrician, some families may still struggle to find a supply of the alternative due to the shortage. This may be compounded by a lack of milk banks in the High Plains; according to the Human Milk Banking Association of North America, the nearest association-member milk banks to Amarillo can be found in Oklahoma City, Albuquerque, New Mexico or Fort Worth.
President Joe Biden and other lawmakers have said that the government is working to mend the issue, but what resources are available to families across the High Plains in the meantime?
MyHighPlains.com compiled a list of resources for families on the High Plains in need of baby formula or breastmilk.
ACT Community Center
As described by the organization, the baby room service with the ACT Community Center is intended to assist single parents and struggling families with baby supplies such as diapers, formula, baby food, and infant clothing.
The ACT Community Center is located at 202 S. Louisiana in Amarillo and can be reached by phone at 806-576-8611.
The Third Strand Foundation
The Third Strand Foundation, as noted in previous reporting, is a non-profit organization that aims to provide breast milk for babies who have lost their breastfeeding parent, or who have parents who cannot breastfeed. Applications for the organization’s services can be found on its website.
Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas
The Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas noted on its website that new parents can purchase donated breastmilk under certain circumstances and with a prescription.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
Operated through the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) describes itself as a nutrition program for pregnant, breastfeeding people and families with children younger than five years of age.
Alongside the WIC’s assortment of breastfeeding resources and nutritional education, the program has food packages available for families that are delivered monthly. These food packages can include baby cereal, baby food, and baby formula. Applications for the WIC program can be found here.
Other resources, local news, and updates can be found on MyHighPlains.com.