AR Social Worker Creates Resource for Finding Baby Formula Amid Shortage
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
The baby-formula shortage has hit families in Arkansas hard, and one Little Rock resident aims to alleviate the stress on parents by creating an interactive document, which shares where to find formula in the state.
Supply-chain disruptions and a recent product recall have been connected to the empty store shelves parents have encountered.
Allison Grigsby Sweatman, a clinical social worker in Central Arkansas, was inspired to create an interactive spreadsheet to help families find formula after hearing from people she works with about the challenges they are facing trying to feed their babies.
"The way that this has affected families with babies who have been depending on formula, it cannot be overstated the crisis this would create in a family system," Sweatman explained. "I've heard about families spending every free moment that they have trying to get the formula that they need for their child."
The Food and Drug Administration and Abbott announced Monday night they reached a deal to resume operations at a shutdown Michigan plant, with production possibly able to restart in the next two weeks.
As of May 8, nationwide out-of-stock rates for baby formula continued to climb and stood at 43%.
Sweatman pointed out the shared spreadsheet is broken down by county, showing where people can find the formula at a store in their county or someone in their community who has formula to give away. She added contributing to the formula finder is one way to give back to your community.
"What an organized approach to meeting this need can offer is everyone can help," Sweatman emphasized. "There's something everyone can do to help us feed our children right now. Even those who are not directly affected who would turn away because it's just too big of a problem to try to solve, with this they have an opportunity to help."
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., introduced legislation last week which would require President Joe Biden to submit a report to Congress within 30 days detailing the steps the administration is taking to end the formula shortage.
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