EBC Fills 97.8% of Formula Requests During Shortage
Empty shelves have been a scary reality for many families across our nation. A safety recall and subsequent production halt at an Abbott Laboratories formula plant, along with ongoing supply chain issues, created a feeding crisis for babies.
When the recall was announced, EBC returned much of the existing inventory, and began the search for replacement supplies. EBC staff and many community supporters have taken on the difficult mission of sourcing formula wherever possible so families can get the exact formula they need, when they need it.
EBC filled 97.8% of all formula requests in the 17 weeks between the recall and June 9, supplying 271 babies and toddlers with the exact type of formula needed. Despite a 60% increase in the number of children helped over the same time in 2021, all but 6 children in this time received the formula requested for them. 1,212 cans—an average of 4.2 cans per child—were distributed in those 17 weeks. The specialty formulas for premature babies, or those with digestive problems or allergies have been the most difficult to obtain. Of the 1,212 cans, each one providing about 3 days of nourishment, almost 1/3 were for sensitive infants, 8% for preemies, 6% were hypoallergic, and 11% digestive issues. Standard type formula comprised about 50% of the distributed supplies.
The supply situation has eased somewhat but it will be months before the shelves are full again. Hats off to the volunteer shoppers, staff, and the generous donors who make it possible for babies to nourished and nurtured.