Texas Mother Travels Two-Hours Round Trip to Find Baby Formula

Tyisha Freeman, of Wortham, is among millions of parents struggling to provide baby formula amid a nationwide shortage

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Baby formula has become increasingly difficult to find amid a massive nationwide shortage.

According to research by Datasembly, the search has proven to be especially difficult in Texas, where supplies were more than 50% sold out during the month of April.

Rural Texans find themselves with scant few options to find baby formula for their children.

“It’s really bad,” said 26-year-old Tyisha Freeman, of Wortham.

There was already a supply chain issue impacting baby formula, and then a recall impacted the supply even further. But it's a bad idea to dilute formula to make it last longer, says Dr. Michael Anderson. He's a pediatric critical care physician at Children's National Hospital in Washington D.C.

Because supplies in her Freestone County community have been so low, Freeman has been making regular two-hour round trips from her home south of Corsicana to a Sam’s Club location in Waco to ensure that her son, 8-month-old Ryder, has the formula that he needs.

“When you go in the store for days and there is no milk, and they keep telling you, ‘Oh, there is going to be milk this day. There is going to be milk this day,’ and you go and like, yeah, there is milk, but by the time you go to the store … there’s no milk," Freeman said. "It’s bad."

The nationwide shortage is due in part to general supply chain problems, but it is more specifically tied to a safety recall and formula plant shutdown in connection to an outbreak of bacterial infections that resulted in four hospitalizations of infants and two deaths.

The Associated Press reported that on Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the Food and Drug Administration was, “working around the clock to address any possible shortages.”

On Tuesday, the FDA said it was working with U.S. manufacturers to increase their output and streamlining paperwork to allow more imports.

Until the supply of formula increases, parents like Freeman will continue to go to great lengths to meet their children’s needs.

“All the parents are doing what we can to feed our babies, but it’s like there’s nothing we can do at all,” Freeman said. “I just wait and hope and pray that when we go to the store that this place has milk.”

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