The State of Colorado recognizes that the nationwide shortage of infant and toddler formula means that many Colorado families are concerned about finding appropriate food for their children. We share that concern and are in regular communication with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, formula manufacturers, and community partners statewide to provide Coloradans with the latest guidance and resources.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is committed to helping families access healthy, nutritious food. Many Colorado families, including approximately 60,000 on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) in Colorado, are impacted by the nationwide infant formula shortage, particularly those who need specialty formulas. Colorado WIC is talking with grocery stores and formula manufacturers to track inventory and purchasing limits across the state.
Mother’s Milk Bank partnership
On May 26, Gov. Polis signed an Executive Order declaring a disaster emergency due to the nationwide infant formula shortage and making emergency funds immediately available to support the free distribution of donor human milk across Colorado.
This follows the Polis-Primavera administration’s recently announced partnership with Mothers’ Milk Bank (MMB) through Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation to help address the infant formula shortage. Colorado and MMB are calling for donations of human milk or financial donations that would help families with the cost of supply, and bringing awareness to an alternative infant feeding supply during the current crisis.
Formula Safety Tips
If you can’t find formula:
Call your pediatrician or OBGYN to see if they have in-office samples.
Call your pediatrician if you cannot access the formula you need for your baby. They may have samples in stock, connections to other local organizations, or ideas of other places to call.
Contact your local family resource center.
You can also:
Check smaller stores and drug stores, which may not be out of supply when the bigger stores are.
If you can afford it, buy formula online until store shortages ease. Purchase from well-recognized distributors, grocers, and pharmacies rather than individually sold or auction sites such as eBay or Facebook Marketplace.
If you find it in stock, it can be tempting to buy as much formula as possible right now, but the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises buying no more than a 10-day to 2-week supply of formula to ease shortages.
Additional helpful resources
- With the baby formula shortage, what should I do if I can't find any? - HealthyChildren.org
USDA Infant Formula Safety website - Contains info on infant formula safety and links to other government resources.
Questions and Answers for Consumers on Infant Formula - FDA question #12 addresses homemade infant formula.
Powdered Infant Formula Preparation and Storage - CDC guidance on preparing infant formula.
Is Homemade Baby Formula Safe - American Association of Pediatrics article on homemade formula.