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Moms happy formula factory will reopen, continue to network amid formula shortage

Baby formula maker Abbott said it has reached a deal with regulators to restart production at its factory tied to the nationwide shortage.
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 9:06 PM EDT
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Mich. (WNEM) - Baby formula maker Abbott said it has reached a deal with regulators to restart production at its factory tied to the nationwide shortage.

Abbott says with FDA approval, they could restart the site within two weeks. From that point, it would take six to eight weeks before product is available on store shelves.

Until that happens, parents will still be scrambling to find what they need, like a mid-Michigan native who is searching far and wide for formula.

“Even as soon as a week ago we were finding the Enfamil on the shelves and now all of a sudden we can’t,” said Okemos mother Marissa Hoop.

Moms like Hoop are having to improvise and network like never before.

“There are moms trading formula online. We’re all just trying to figure out how we can best feed our children,” Hoop said.

The Coleman native now lives in Okemos where she takes care of her 3-year-old son Emmett and 4-month-old baby boy Jensen. Her family is also concerned about the shortage and doing what they can to help out.

“Luckily my sister and brother-in-law live in Midland, and he looked on the shelves in Midland for us today and couldn’t find it even though I checked online today, and it said it was in stock,” Hoop said. “My other sister lives in Mt. Pleasant. She’s going to go look on the shelves there, so we have people looking and keeping an eye out.”

While they scramble to find what she needs, the announcement that the Sturgis plant would be allowed to reopen is welcome news, but time is still of the essence.

“Initially I’m glad that they’re going to get that back up and running, but I’m still a little bit scared,” Hoop said. “Six weeks is a long time to even get started and to even see more time.”

That’s why it is important for parents to continue to find solutions. Hoop recently helped a friend in Midland find a specific kind of formula in Okemos. She purchased it, and her friend drove an hour and a half to pick it up from her.

The Sturgis plant shut down in February over safety concerns about bacterial infections. Abbott makes about 40-percent of all baby formula sold in the U.S.