WIC program moving away from Similac amid formula shortage

Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 12:07 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Parents are still struggling to find baby formula even months after the peak of the shortage.

Some big changes are being forced on everyone from mothers to even the entire Texas WIC program, which helps families in need pay for formula.

Many have been affected by this shortage and continue to be affected. One resident still can’t buy specialty formula and has been forced to take breast milk donations from members of the community. The WIC program just announced that they will be moving from Similac to Enfamil, leaving many parents hoping their kids can adapt to the change.

“My concern comes on October 1, if the family is going to be there or not,” Mehgan White, client services manager at WIC program of Wichita Falls, said.

Many parents have already been forced to seek alternative methods to their formula since the shortages have been going on for months.

“Enfamil has now won our contract, so it’s kind of a big transition you know learning the differences,” White said. “Even though they’re slight differences, just kind of making sure that mom is comfortable making that switch in the middle of their baby has been on one and transitioning to another.”

“It puts a lot of stress on parents because then they have to go to the pediatrician and file a prescription with the doctor and then send it to WIC,” Brianna Beavers, a parent, said. “I mean, it’s going to be a mess.”

One parent said that this shortage is still a big problem because they still can’t find their specialized formula anywhere and were forced to adapt and find a new norm.

“It’s still a big issue here in America and they don’t realize it because we’ve found alternatives and these alternatives have become new normals for us,” Beavers said. “So that’s tough and it’s not being recognized still to this day.”

Brianna said after 14 weeks of the formula being out of stock, she had to take donations from women in the community who have been donating breast milk.

“Nine months of her life, we have been robbed because we are worried about formula shortage and we are going to have to be able to find a mom to donate our breast milk for us,” Beavers said. “Because she can’t have just a random formula off the shelf.”

As this shortage continues, WIC feels it is getting better and said the state is continuing to work on solutions.

“I do see the light at the end of the tunnel,” White said. “It’s on its way.”