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White House launches webpage to help families find baby formula

The federal webpage includes manufacturer hotlines, community resource info, and general advice to help families find baby formula during the shortage.

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration launched a web page Friday with a roundup of resources to help families who are unable to find baby formula during the current shortage

The website, HHS.gov/formula, includes manufacturer hotlines for Gerber, Abbott and Reckitts. It also has information about community resources like United Way's 2-1-1 program, Feeding America and the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. 

The baby formula shortage is the result of supply chain disruptions and a recall by Abbott, stemming from contamination concerns. The recall in particular wiped out many brands covered by WIC, a federal program like food stamps that serves women, infants and children, though the program now permits brand substitutes. 

Speaking about the new HHS webpage, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration has been pushing states to make it easier for WIC recipients to buy different sizes of formula that their benefits might not currently cover. 

President Joe Biden also spoke Thursday with executives from manufacturers Reckitt and Gerber about how they could increase production and how his administration could help. And he talked with leaders from Walmart and Target about how to restock shelves.  

For WIC-eligible families, the HHS site advises them for now to contact their local WIC office if they can't find formula. 

The site also stresses that parents should not water down formula, try to make their own formula, or use toddler formula to feed infants. 

"Although recipes for homemade formulas circulating on the internet may seem healthy or less expensive, they are not safe and do not meet your baby's nutritional needs. Infant deaths have been reported from use of some homemade formulas," the American Academy of Pediatrics warned on its parenting site

The Associated Press contributed to this report.