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Imperial Valley residents still having trouble finding baby formula

With the shortage of baby formula, some residents are having to go to different states to get the products to feed their babies - News 11's Vanessa Gongora reports

IMPERIAL COUNTY, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - Baby formula is getting harder and harder to find and local parents are worried.

According to Datasembly, data shows 31% out-of-stock rate in April 2022 for baby formula, which is up 11% nationwide compared to November 2021. A skyrocketed increase from the first half of 2021 when the out-of-stock rate was relatively stable between 2-8%.

CEO of Datasembly, Ben Reich says, “Inflation, supply chain shortages, and product recalls have brought an unprecedented amount of volatility for baby formula.”

He says we expect to continue to see the baby formula category being dramatically affected by these conditions.

One mom from El Centro Letty Galindo-Flores says she can't produce milk so the only way to feed her two month old son is by formula.

"I wasn't able to produce so I have no choice. It's either that or he starves. He needs the formula. I wasn't able to breast feed. He is on Enfamil added rice starch to help with his spit up," Galindo-Flores said.

She said getting her hands on this special formula is not easy.

"I have found myself going to several different stores just to get a basic little tub of his formula. My heart hurts for everyone going through that. I even had to reach out to my brother and sister-in-law in Phoenix to ship over some formulas over there to be able to feed him," said Galindo-Flores.

Most stores are now limiting the amount of baby formula a customer can buy per day.

Food 4 Less in El Centro has the baby formula locked up and says, "Due to limited supplies, baby formula is limited to four per customer. WIC vouchers for quantities greater than four will still be honored."

The Walmart in El Centro also has a sign that states, "Effective immediately, all infant formula sales are limited to five units per child for each customer per day."

Target and Aldi in El Centro do not have a limitation as of now.

According to analysts, hyperlocal data indicates the shortage will continue to worsen.

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Vanessa Gongora

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