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WNY parents struggle to find baby formula for their children

"I was crying for three straight hours wondering how I was going to feed my baby," one Orchard Park mother said.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — There is a real issue facing new parents here in Western New York and across the country, a baby formula shortage.

Moms all over the country are trying to get there hands on baby formula cans.

"I went to BJ's. I went to Target. I went to Walmart and I went to Tops. All those four stores were completely out. I checked online the Parent Choice that I get for our son is not available," Samantha Klaja, a Hamburg mom said.

According to a leading retail analysis company, baby formula shortages were at 23% in January. That number increased to 31% in April. 

The shortages are caused by product recalls, supply chain issues and inflation.

"I was crying for three straight hours wondering how I was going to feed my baby," said Cassidy Rogers, an Orchard Park mom.

"It's very stressful. I feel like I ultimately kind of am failing as mother because I can't provide for my child the way I need to. But I know it's not my fault - I didn't create a shortage," Klaja said.

"My baby almost went without food for a least a day because I couldn't find it and it was expensive and had almost no money to get it. I struggle sometimes to find it," Rogers said.

Because of the shortage, moms like Klaja and Rogers are now having to pay at least twice as much to find the food they need for their babies.

"You can get a store brand of formula for $19.99, but the problem is the store brand is not available. So you have to go buy the actual brand. I use Parent's Choice of Walmart for $19.99, but it's not available. You can't find any find of store brand anywhere. So, you have to buy this $45 brand formula," Klaja said.

Even with the help of government support programs, moms are still having to pay the price. 

"I do get WIC now, but I still have to buy an extra three cans a month, which is literally expensive if I can even find it," Rogers said.

But thankfully for Klaja's baby, he will soon be off of baby formula.

"Fortunately for me, our baby is getting a little bit older. So eventually, he will be able to start going on milk, but it scares me. Is there be milk shortage also? I just don't know the world is so unpredictable," Klaja said.

Both Klaja and Rogers have been able to get the cans they need. For any other parents who need assistance, there are local resources in Western New York. Those resources include places like FeedMore WNY and St. Luke's Mission of Mercy.


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