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Friday, July 1, 2022

Formula Shortage Information for WIC Participants

Tips for Finding Formula

Formula supply can vary by store and region:

  •   Try calling ahead or searching the website of a WIC store or pharmacy to check their supply. If you are buying formula without using WIC benefits, make sure to shop at trustworthy stores or pharmacies.
  •   Check smaller stores and drug stores. They may not be out of stock when the bigger stores are.  
  •   If you cannot find your preferred formula brand, check the Michigan WIC Temporary Choices for Powdered Formulas list and try to find another at local stores.  
  •   If you cannot find your formula or a substitute at the store, be sure to check with a store employee. Sometimes extra formula is placed behind a counter in another location, or they may be able to tell you when their next shipment is expected. 
  •   Buy only the formula needed soon (10-14 days) and avoid stockpiling. This helps other families have access to formula and gives stores time to restock their shelves.
  •   Note some stores may limit the number of formula products customers can buy.
  •   Check food pantries, charitable organizations, and with others that may be able to help. Call 211 or your local WIC clinic to learn more about local food pantries.
  •   If you cannot find formula, you can also call your health care provider. They may have samples or ideas about other local agencies that can help.

Infant Formula Shortage Do’s and Don’ts

What to Do

  •   Do feed your baby human milk or infant formula.
  •   Do call your WIC clinic for breastfeeding support if needed, and click here for more information about breastfeeding, including milk sharing.
  •   Do see the Tips for Finding Formula above and the Michigan WIC Temporary Choices for Powder Formula if your baby’s formula is hard to find. If you can’t find your baby’s formula, including the temporary substitutes, call your WIC clinic for help.
  •   Do contact your WIC clinic or health care provider if your baby receives a special formula for allergies or a medical condition and you cannot find the special formula.

What NOT to do

  •   Do not feed your baby homemade formula. This is unsafe and will not meet your baby’s nutrient needs.  Click here to learn more about the dangers of homemade baby formula.
  •   Do not ‘water down’ infant formula to stretch it further. This should never be done. Adding extra water to formula can dilute levels of protein and minerals, and lead to low sodium levels in the blood and other electrolyte disorders that may require hospitalization. 
  •   Do not feed your baby cow’s milk, goat’s milk, or plant-based milk until they are at least one year of age, as these milks lack nutrients and can cause digestive issues. In rare, emergency situations, whole cow’s can be given to healthy babies over 6 months-old, for no more than 1 week, if supported by your health care provider. Click here to learn more about milk alternatives to formula and be sure to talk with your health care provider if considering their use.
  •   Do not buy formula from sources that are not trustworthy, as it may be a scam.
  •   Do not buy or use recalled formula.

For more information, click here: With the baby formula shortage, what should I do if I can’t find any?


Find more resources on the Michigan WIC website about the recall and formula supply changes.

Get Help

We encourage WIC families to contact their local WIC clinic for help. Families can also contact their health care provider, local public health agency, or community organizations. If you have questions or are concerned about feeding your baby, or use formula for special medical needs, talk to your health care provider. 

US Department of Health and Human Services: Find Formula During Infant Formula Shortage website


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