Major nationwide retailers are limiting the amount of baby formula customers can buy as a stark shortage of the product leaves shelves empty for parents searching for food for their infants.

Baby formula was roughly 30% out of stock across the country in April, according to market tracker Datasembly. By the end of the month, a half-dozen states had out-of-stock rates above 50% and the national average had risen to 40%, the data analysis company told Bloomberg News.

“They are sending pallets, pallets of baby formula to the border,” said Republican Rep. Kat Cammack in one of two online postings yesterday. “Meanwhile, in our own district at home, we cannot find baby formula,” she added, holding a photo of empty shelves where the formula would be. Source: Washington Examiner

In response, CVS capped online orders to three containers of formula powder. Target has limited customers to four containers.

The CVS limit also applies in-store, though Target’s does not, CNN reported.

Walgreens has held customers to three containers of formula, the network said.

“The unprecedented scope of this infant formula recall has serious consequences for babies and new parents,” Brian Dittmeier, the senior director of public policy at the National WIC Association, told the New York Times on Saturday. His nonprofit provides nutritional assistance to roughly six million women and children across the country.

“Every day, we hear from parents who are hurt, angry, anxious and scared,” Dittmeier said. “The lives of their infants are on the line.”

With retailers limiting purchases and many shelves out of stock, parents have turned to unexpected places in hopes of locating formula.

A 31,000-member Facebook labeled “baby formula for sale” sees continuous posts from parents buying and giving away cartons of formula powder.

“My sister is in desperate need of some and she can’t seem to find any,” one woman wrote. “I’m just trying to help her out.”

“Have formula to give away to a mommy in need,” another said. “Text if interested – located in Bergen County.”

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