The search for scarce baby formula is worse for rural families on WIC

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Two months old, Jennifer Magee saw a change in her baby’s feeding pattern that frightened her: She started taking the pill, almost every hour.

Increased interest is normal for older infants, including Magee’s daughter, Aubrey. But in the country’s shortcomings, Magee, 25, has reduced only one container, barely more than three days.

“We’re going through a tactic,” Magee said as the shortage intensified in May. “I’m afraid this will happen soon. If we don’t make provisions, we won’t do it for her.”

Finding more will not be a direct task.

Magee has faced a similar problem that many parents have faced in the past few months while trying to find a solution. But she felt even more anxious because she relied on the Special Food Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children, better known as WIC — an effort by the federal government to help. weak women buy food, including tricks baby.

Her daughter was born in March, long after the chain of events began to affect food production, and a few weeks after infant feeding company Abbott Nutrition closed production at its Michigan factory. and she remembers Similac, Similac Alimentum, and EleCare powder. , further hindering prosperity. In May, Drs. Robert Califf, president of the FDA, told senators that he expects the problem to be resolved by the end of July. As of June, the agency continues to import ways to increase production.

For Magee and other parents who live near state borders, especially those in border villages with remote shopping options, WIC limits further complicate the ongoing process.

Residents of Bay City, Wisconsin, Magee must shop at a store authorized by their state to receive WIC benefits. Unlike people who receive money from the Supplemental Food Assistance Program, or SNAP, a subsidy for low-income families, WIC recipients may not be able to enjoy their benefits across the states, according to the Department of Agriculture by the United States.

Bay City is a village of about 400 on the western edge of Wisconsin, across the Mississippi River from the Red Wing, Minnesota, with a population of about 16,500. Bay does not have WIC-approved grocery stores. The Red Wing – less than 10 miles west – has three approved WIC stores, but Magee may not be able to take advantage of Wisconsin in any of them.

Instead, she traveled nearly 50 miles to her approved WICart Supercenter Center in Menomonie, Wisconsin, to find the system her daughter needed.

While the lack of strategy not only affects WIC families, it is “exacerbating the divisions that low-income families have experienced over the years,” said Brian Dittmeier, executive director of public policy at WIC, the organization. providing independent advice representing WIC programs. .

Those differences include low-income families being able to live in the food desert, or areas that do not have access to affordable food, which limits their choice of WIC-approved shops, he said.

Typically, WIC recipients have a specific system that they can purchase with their benefits as part of what the program calls a “food package.” In commemoration of Abbott Nutrition, the Wisconsin Department of Health has issued a list of family replacements whose specific systems are among those recalled.

Nutramigen, a technique used by Magee to pacify her breasts, is not remembered, but it has not been easy to obtain since her shortage has sparked controversy across the country. Whenever Magee drove the car to Menomonie for Nutramigen, she was doing a “wild stay” she could get some.

She did not.

In May, the Wisconsin Department of Health issued a counseling for families surrounding the shortage. Department officials said they looked smaller grocery store and drug stores instead of adults, and check websites before getting into one. However some small shops do not accept WIC, and for women who have to walk an hour or more to check the shelf, what is online may not show the truth once they arrive. Like most states, Wisconsin does not allow WIC families to shop online with their benefits.

“Sometimes this is a barrier because of the cost of transportation,” said Brittany Mora, WIC director of Pierce County, where Magee lives, while meditating on Magee. the number of trips that families take to find a plan — especially how gas prices are. increased to an average ground near $ 5 per gallon.

If Magee would drive through her district to check out each of the four WIC approved stores for her daughter’s system, she would travel 65 miles and could go home empty-handed. Pierce County does not have public transportation.

Mora staff encourage parents to call the stores before making the long trip, if traders can tell them what’s in stock. Employees can also give families advice they have heard on where to find a strategy and change the family food package to include the strategy available in the shop.

Since remembering Abbott and closing the plant, Mora has allowed families to call her personal cell phone for an emergency when her office is closed.

“My biggest fear is, over the weekend, yes family he couldn’t find the technique available at the store, ”she said.

Such challenges originate for women receiving WIC in Minnesota. The state’s WIC director, Kate Franken, says families attending her support program sometimes don’t have a car, “so they don’t have many options to drive and check out different stores.”

Although Minnesota, like Wisconsin, now provides WIC recipients with imported methods to enhance their options, the supplement does not help all families equally, Franken said.

Kendamil formulas from the UK and Aussie Bubs from Australia fall under the category of milk-based formulas, she said. “This is good, and it’s what most infants use, but this is also the type we see the best recovery in prosperity as a whole.”

She said the standard method of importing milk does not address the lack of adequate nutrition for infants suffering from milk intolerance or other digestive problems.

Those babies are like Magee’s daughter.

When Magee realized that she could not rely on her WIC benefits to access hypoallergenic treatment immediately, she turned to relatives for help.

On May 23, Magee’s daughter-in-law, Geralyn Laurie, posted on Facebook: “Friends everywhere, my granddaughter, Aubrey Elizabeth, needs her specific formula. She needs Enfamil’s Nutramigen for babies. It can also be home brands of this technique. , who [are Tippy Toes and Well Beginnings]. If you got this, please buy it and I will be happy Venmo you for this product and freight. “

Within weeks, 26 cans of hypoallergenic drugs made their way to the end of a gravel road bound for farms leading to Laurie’s home in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, about 30 miles west of Bay City. Some came by letters, others by strangers coming by plane and train.

Laurie did not expect such a response.

“Everyone, I think, wanted to help, and a lot of people were like,‘ I am myself, ’” she said.

When her granddaughter was 3 months old, Laurie spent more than $ 455 on tactics.

Magee is still unable to use her WIC benefits to feed her daughter.

Lack of infant skills poses a challenge for low-income families

© 2022 Kaiser Health News.

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hint: Finding baby bats worse for rural families on WIC (2022, July 12) restored 12 July 2022 from rural.html

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