TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today announced actions her administration has taken to ease the burden on Kansas families affected by the nationwide infant formula shortage. Since February, the Kelly Administration has been working with state agencies and federal partners to address the issue.
“I have directed all state agencies to do everything in their power to help Kansans access vital infant formula,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “From increasing flexibility to helping eliminate barriers at check-out, my Administration is doing what is within our power to ease the impact of the national infant formula shortage on Kansas families.”
Governor Kelly has instructed agencies to work with their federal counterparts to expedite relief. To that end, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has taken a leading role in working with the White House, the National Governors Association, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Association, and private industry to help coordinate efforts and eliminate red tape.
KDHE has implemented a series of waivers to provide the maximum flexibility in making more infant formula products – including Ready to Feed (RTF) formulas – available to Kansans and has approved additional formula products for use by Kansas WIC families. The agency is also working with the Kansas Department for Children and Families on increased communication efforts to inform the public of possible alternatives.
The Kelly Administration, including KDHE, recommends the following to families struggling to find the formula they need to feed their child:
- Call your OBGYN or pediatrician to see if they can provide any resources to access formula or for suggestions on an alternative formula to meet your infant’s health needs.
- Switch to another brand or type of formula that is available if recommended by your infant’s physician.
- Contact your local WIC agency to see if the infant is eligible for WIC benefits.
- Contact smaller stores and drugstores that carry formula to see if they have products in stock.
- Kansas WIC families should contact their local health department or health agency for assistance in receiving substitute products when needed.
“KDHE is committed to ensuring infants in Kansas have access to formula,” Secretary Janet Stanek said. “Since February, we have been working to do what is possible, within our authority, to provide relief for Kansans. We urge all impacted families to follow these recommendations and stay up-to-date with information to care for their family’s needs.”
Families are strongly encouraged not to unnecessarily stockpile formula in such a way that would cause further strain on the supply chain.
KDHE strongly discourages the use of toddler formula to feed infants, watering down formula, or trying to make infant formula at home.
The Kelly Administration will continue to monitor the situation and provide further updates as they become available. For more information about WIC eligibility, visit the KDHE WIC website. Find the approved substitution formula list for WIC families here.