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Livingston food bank grappling with baby formula shortage

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Posted at 5:11 PM, May 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-19 10:45:52-04

The national shortage of baby formula impacts local Montana families as well as food banks throughout the state.

“There’s some potential to import some formula from England and Canada,” Senator Jon Tester, D-MT, said.

Tester goes on to emphasize the need to address supply chain issues in the baby formula business, citing the similarity between this and pork production and beef production.

“This is a little bit different; even though I love meat, I can live without meat for a while. This formula is really, critically important to keep these children alive,” Tester said.

Senator Steve Daines, R-MT, has also commented on the shortage of formula and notes that over 40% of Montana’s baby formula supply is out of stock.

“It’s critical that we combat this formula shortage, bolster the supply chain to get formula back on the shelves immediately,” Daines said.

In Livingston, the Livingston Food Resource Center has experienced plenty of calls from their clients asking if they have any baby formula in stock.

“Feeding babies, as a dad I can say, it’s stressful enough as it is, and if you’ve got other challenges on top of that it makes it even more difficult,” George Peirce said.

Peirce is executive director of the Livingston Food Resource Center and works closely with the local WIC program.

“Having to switch formulas has been a big, big problem for parents and caregivers—across the nation—but in Park County as well,” said dietician and WIC Director April Neptune.

The WIC, or Women, Infants, and Children, program falls under the Park County Health Department.

“The takeaway for infant formula and the shortage is to not make your own baby formula. It will affect the growth and development of your baby and lead to some serious problems,” Neptune said.

Tester notes that there is potential for importing more formula from England and Canada.