Tennessee moms helping moms find formula amidst nationwide shortage

Moms are teaming up to help others find baby formula amidst the shortage. Joylyn Bukovac has their story.
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 6:58 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Tennessee moms are teaming to help others as the nationwide shortage of baby formula continues to get worse.

Alexandra Bolger, an East Tennessee mom, created a Facebook group called TN formula/baby food find to help other caregivers get their hands on formula.

“I started that because I’m a mom of a 7-week-old baby and I was looking for formula. I had a friend who was looking for formula,” Bolger said. “I had seen people posting all over the place about formula things they had left and things that didn’t work out for them, but they were willing to give away. I figured create a group to be able to condense it all into one place so that way it’s easier to try to find formula and baby food.”

Even though Bolger lives in East Tennessee, she hopes parents across the state join the group as formula becomes tougher to find. Some days she has been scrambling to find formula for her baby DJ.

“I was traveling as far as two hours out of my way to try to find formula,” Bolger said. “Every time I’d go out, I was always searching. It’s nerve-wrecking having a little one that’s restricted to formula and that’s all they can have. How else are we supposed to be able to feed them?”

The biggest challenge has been finding stores that accept her WIC benefits and that have formula in stock.

“It’s typically Walmart, Food City, like your standard grocery stores, and that have been sold out for months,” Bolger said.

If she can’t find stores that accept WIC with the formula in stock, Bolger must pay for formula out of pocket instead of using the government assistance she’s given. This is a big expense.

Formula prices are up as much as 18% since last year as the shortage gets worse. Tennessee is topping the nation for having the barest shelves. Stores like CVS, Walgreens and Target are limiting how much formula you can buy.

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