MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) — Step into life with a six-month-old and you’re likely to see a few baby bottles. For baby Naomi Reece Owens, she typically goes six bottles a day.
“Wow you ate well this morning my daughter!” exclaimed her mother, Sara Owens, looking at her formula canister.
Naomi has relied on formula since birth, and the amount she consumes each day is enough for Sara to make at least one trip to the store each week for formula.
But for several months, this trip has become more and more difficult.
“I buy two big cans every week and it’s like $40 to $50 for the week, and so when you can’t find it for the next week, it’s like what do you do?” Owens questioned.
Not being able to find formula milk is something Owens says he’s encountered since January.
According to a Virginia-based company Data assembly, which tracks grocery store and retail price trends, infant formula out-of-stock levels across the country are 31%. That’s up 20% since November of last year.
“Mondays are usually when I go there, at least to look for him, and there was nothing at all. There were maybe a few on the other shelf, or a few of the other brands that you don’t use, but yeah, it was pretty empty,” Owens said.
Owens refers her to a nearby Walmart in Florence. But it wasn’t just the bare shelves that freaked Owens out. That’s what she saw, also desperate for formula – a father who desperately needed a special formula for his baby girl.
“Much more stressful than my situation. His daughter could only have one type, one brand and he drove two hours to Florence because online he was saying we had it and we didn’t,” Owens explained. .
When Owens returned home, she took to Facebook, writing this post which has been shared 176,000 times.
“I thought maybe my friends list and maybe one or two people outside of that would see it,” Owens said.
Owens is grateful for the traction the post about meeting a dad, also looking for a formula, has brought.
The comments have also helped other parents in similar situations. Right now, Owens is trying to coordinate drop-off points for anyone with extra food canisters.
“We have to feed our children and it really showed that people will do what they have to do to feed their children,” Owens said.
And since parents are looking for formula, be sure to call ahead and make sure the store has your formula before you go. You will also want to check and see how many cartridges you are allowed to buy at once.
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