Helping families navigate the infant formula shortage


The nationwide infant formula shortage has caused stress for many families. The Alliance staff understands the challenges parents are experiencing and is here to guide providers to the proper support and resources. These resources can help families find food that supports their baby’s nutrition. The information below comes from the American Academy of Pediatricsthe California Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

It is critical to affirm parents’ concern about formula shortages while taking an individualized, respectful, and sensitive approach to the needs of both non-breastfeeding and partially breastfeeding families.

Resources for providers

Providers can contact the following resources:

Manufacturer Hotlines

Name Information
Gerber  Providers/members can use MyGerber Baby Expert to be connected to a certified nutrition or lactation consultant, by phone, text, Facebook Messenger, web chat or video call. This resource can help identify a similar formula that may be more readily available.

(Metabolic & Similac specialty formulas)

For infants and children determined to be in urgent medical need, providers can submit an Urgent Product Request by downloading and completing the Abbott Urgent Product Request Form for Metabolic and Similac specialty formulas.

To return the form, fax 877-293-9145 or email [email protected].

Providers/members can call Abbott’s Customer Service Line at 800-881-0876.


(EleCare specialty amino acid-based formulas)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is allowing infants and children with urgent medical needs to get the EleCare product they need. Abbott has limited quantities of EleCare and EleCare Jr. Vanilla products available for distribution. Due to limited supply, Abbott will be filling 1-2 cases (6 cans per case) of product at a time. Please re-submit the form if a patient needs additional products.

Providers can submit an urgent product request by downloading and completing the Abbott Urgent Product Request Form for EleCare specialty amino acid based formulas.

To return the form, send via fax to 877-293-9145 or email [email protected].

Providers/members can call Abbott’s Customer Service Line at 800-881-0876.

Reckitt Providers/members can call Reckitt’s at 800 BABY-123 (222-9123).

Resources for families

Families can contact the following resources:

Community Sources

Name Information

Community Action Agency (CAA)

Members can locate their nearest Community Action Agency (CAA), which may be able to provide them with formulas or connect them with local agencies that have formulas in stock.

United Way 211

Members can dial 211 to be connected to a community resource specialist affiliated with United Way. This specialist may be able to help them identify food pantries and other charitable sources of local infant formula and baby food.

Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA)

Certain HMBANA-accredited milk banks distribute donated breast milk to mothers in need. Please note that some may require a prescription from a medical professional.

Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program

Members can contact their local WIC  office to identify or obtain additional sources of infant formula nearby.

The California Department of Public Health has temporarily expanded infant formula purchasing options for the WIC program. If members qualify for WIC, they now have 13 infant formulas to choose from.

Recommendations for providers

Below are some national and local formula resources for infant feeding during the formula shortage, including formula use best practices and other short-term options.

Materials for members

Webinar for providers and families

Webinar 6/9 

  • American Academy of Pediatrics-CA, in conjunction with the CA Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the CA Academy of Family Practice (CAFP), will host a webinar on Thursday, June 9, beginning at 6:30 pm. CDPH will provide resources for practitioners and families, followed by a panel of experts to address questions and concerns and help with counseling our patients.