DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A growing baby formula shortage is causing strain on Miami Valley families, especially for those who rely on Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program benefits.

With baby formula hard to find on box store shelves, With God’s Grace Executive Director Nicole Adkins is trying to keep it in stock at their free grocery store for mothers that need it.

“We just recently had one come in just to get baby formula and she was crying because she said she went everywhere and she could not find the formula, we had it in stock,” Adkins said. “She just cried and cried and said ‘Now my child can eat.'”

In February, Abbott voluntarily recalled their powdered formula after several infants got sick from a bacterial infection. Additionally, ongoing supply chain issues are affecting other brands.

“We’ve definitely seen an increase in supply issues, especially with more specialized formulas, so we do have a lot of families that are struggling to get the usual formula their baby needs,” Dayton Children’s Clinical Dietitian and Lactation Specialist Jessica Carder said.

Adkins said the shortage is especially hitting families who are having trouble finding formula at stores that accept WIC.

“The stores that they’re going to already having a shortage because the other families have already come in and got what they did have of the limited supplies,” Adkins said.

If you are on WIC, Carder also recommends using the WIC Shopper App. The app will allow you to locate other WIC-eligible stores near where you live so you can reach out to see if they have formula in stock.

Carder said if you can’t find your usual formula in stock, contact your baby’s pediatrician.

“They might be able to give you more of this information or talk about other formula options out there, and they’re always welcome to call Dayton Children’s, get directed to us, so we can make a nutrition appointment,” Carder said.

Adkins said she’s opened up the With God’s Grace Free Store to any family in desperate need of formula without an appointment, just bring an ID and the child’s birth certificate.

“If they can’t find the formula, we’re here to help them during that time,” Adkins said.

The With God’s Grace Free Store is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and is located at 5505 North Dixie Drive in Northridge.