LONG BEACH, (CNS) — With baby food still in short supply amid an ongoing nationwide shortage, the Long Beach health department plans to distribute 950 cans of the powder to eligible families upon receipt of the allocation from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
“We know that many families in Long Beach have felt the effects of this shortage,” Mayor Robert Garcia said in a statement Friday. “We’re working hard to get the formula into the hands of families and bring some relief to our parents, caregivers and kids.”
According to a city statement, the cans will be distributed at four locations. They are:
— St. Mary’s Woman, Infants and Children (WIC) office, 1043 Elm Ave., #401, Tuesdays, 9am to noon;
— Ron Arias Health Equity Center, 6335 Myrtle Ave., Thursdays from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM;
— Silverado Park, 1545 W. 31st St., Fridays 3-5pm, and
— Main Health Office, 2525 Grand Ave., Saturday, 9:00 am to noon.
The formula will be available to families with children up to 9 months old who participate in a federal aid program and need food.
Each of the distribution locations will carry both Enfamil Infant Instant Formula Milk-based Powder with Iron and Similac Advance Powder Baby Formula, the city health department said.
Distribution is expected to continue through August, while supplies last.
The baby food shortage in the US is in its sixth month due to a combination of COVID-driven supply chain problems and the closure of one of the country’s largest factories due to contamination.
In response to the shortage, Los Angeles County purchased $750,000 worth of baby food in late May.
“I know many parents and caregivers are concerned and anxious about the baby food shortage,” said County Supervisor Hilda Solis announcing the purchase on May 28. “As a provincial government, it is our responsibility to be the safety net for our residents and to meet the needs of the most vulnerable.”
The City of Los Angeles has also taken steps to address the shortage, with the LA City Council ratifying a local emergency declaration from Mayor Eric Garcetti last month to prevent local price inflation.
“President Biden, the Federal Trade Commission and the California Attorney General have all warned against illegal and predatory behavior, including price-gouging, in the infant formula market,” the city council resolution said.
“The national shortage does not cause the same shortages in the city of Los Angeles as it does in other parts of the county, but nevertheless poses an immediate threat to the ability of parents and caregivers to get infant formula in the city.”
According to the LA City emergency statement, it is illegal for any person or business to sell infant or toddler food at more than 10% of the price charged prior to the emergency statement.
“As we see this shortage emerging across the country, now is the time to prepare and take proactive steps to protect our families and most vulnerable residents,” Garcetti said in his announcement of the emergency declaration on June 3. “This statement should not be seen as a cause for concern – it should inspire confidence that we are thinking ahead and taking the right steps to ensure our city is ready to protect Angelenos.”
In Long Beach, more information about formula updates and resources is available at longbeach.gov/formulaupdates or by calling the LB Resource Line at 562-570-4246.
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