Baby formula shortage hits home

The nationwide baby formula shortage that has had parents desperately scrambling to locate the needed nutrition for their children is also being felt in the local area, as the Life Center in Franklin has especially been affected.

Kara Martz, director of client service, said the Life Center has received an overwhelming amount of requests for baby formula.

“Not only are our clients, who we service at the center, asking for formula, people who aren’t our clients are asking for formula,” she said.

Everyone, including clients and the community, is eligible for baby formula, according to Martz.

“If there is a need, we’re going to try to fill it,” she said.

The Life Center, which offers free and confidential services to expectant and new parents, helps its clients “to the degree that we have supply or we have what they need,” Martz said.

However, she said, the center “unfortunately” has not been able to help as many people as necessary in regard to supplying them with baby formula.

While stores such as CVS and Walgreens started limiting purchases to three containers per customer in response to the shortage, according to several national reports, Martz said the Life Center is limiting people to two cans.

Before the shortage, she said, the Life Center typically gave people the amount they needed, but now has no choice but to place a limit on baby formula.

“The demand is pretty high, and we’re doing the best we can. We just don’t have what we need at the moment, especially (gentle) formulas,” Martz said.

The top gentle formulas in demand at the Life Center are for babies with sensitivities or allergies and those who are premature, Martz explained.

The national reports have advised parents not to water down formula or try online, do-it-yourself recipes. Martz said social media sometimes will alert people as to which stores are currently stocked.

“Keep looking,” Martz encourages parents about the formula. “Network with other moms who have baby formula they no longer need. Call our center. Depending on what day (someone calls, the Life Center) may or may not have it.”