Schaumburg mother hunts for baby formula amid national shortage

Thursday, June 2, 2022
Schaumburg mother hunts for baby formula
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Parents who rely on formula to feed their babies are faced with empty shelf after empty shelf as they go from store to store amid a national shortage.

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (WLS) -- With a wide grin across her face, Lily is a happy 8-month-old growing up in Schaumburg, but her mom is worried and struggling to find baby formula.

"We cannnot find it anywhere," said Madolyn Gorney. "We have friends and family across the country looking for us, and sending us any cans they can find."

Gorney said loved ones nationwide are trying to help them find the right formula.

"We have family in Minnesota, Arizona, New Jersey, Colorado, Virginia, they have been looking in all of their states and sending us what they can find," she said.

Gorney said Lily has a milk protein allergy. She was using EleCare, which was recalled earlier this year. Gorney said the second formula they tried was a PurAmino brand, and that's hard to find right now. The family is now planning to switch to a third brand.

"We have actually driven, sometimes in one day, through six or seven different towns and cities to every Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Meijer," the mother explained.

Lily is not on Similac, but some Similac products are on shelves at County Fair in Chicago's Beverly neighborhood.

Tom Baffes, owner of County Fair, heard about the baby formula shortage. The store was not carrying Similac products until Baffes recently heard some was available at their supplier's warehouse.

"My brother-in-law Mike said, 'We should bring some in, they have some at the warehouse.' So I said, 'Good idea,' and we did. We got it all taken care of," Baffes said.

County Fair got 10 cases last Friday, and the supply is now down to a few cases. Once they hear about it, moms are reaching out.

"My assistant branch manager text me this morning hoping that I can come across the street - I work here in the community - and find her Similac for her baby boy," said Rhea Bolton, a customer purchasing the baby formula.

ABC 7 Chicago went to County Fair and did a baby formula check within a three-mile radius.

First stop was at 12:15 p.m., and store shelves were nearly empty at one of the largest retail stores in Evergreen Park.

Second stop, 30 minutes later at 12:45 p.m. was a grocery store across 95th Street. Again, another empty shelf.

At 1:10 p.m., more empty shelves at a third location in Evergreen Park. This is what families are up against.

"It's very scary," Gorney said.

For now, Lily has two weeks of formula left. Her mom is grateful for help across the country, and she has this advice for others.

"All moms stick together, just reach out to friends and family and to other moms," Gorney said, "and it's been absolutely wonderful who comes out of nowhere just to help you out."