Resources for the Baby Formula Shortage

May 20, 2022
For those with infants or family and friends with infants who need formula, you have been following, with growing concern, the shortage of infant formula across the country. While policy makers and the FDA work to address the systemic issue, the Connecticut Department of Public Health has shared information about what families can do in the face of this crisis.

I have shared those resources below, along with a few updates on tax breaks, funding for our community and upcoming events/roadwork.

Baby Formula Shortage
The formula shortage started last fall due to supply chain issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. It was exacerbated in February when Abbott recalled powdered formula manufactured in its Michigan plant and temporarily shuttered it.

Abbott is allowing the Connecticut WIC program to offer 80 comparable formulas while the company’s products are not available.

DPH has been working closely with local agency staff to help families find retailers that have in-stock formula, or even switch the participant's benefits package when needed. DPH also has been working directly with manufacturers to order emergency formula.

While WIC encourages breastfeeding for at least the first year of life, only about one-third of Connecticut infants are breastfed.

Other suggestions and resources include:

  • Check smaller stores or pharmacies for availability. During the formula shortage, it may help to visit stores more frequently and buy formula as it becomes available.
  • If you can afford it, buy formula online until store availability improves. Purchase from well-recognized distributors and pharmacies. 
  • Use caution when purchasing formula from individual or private sellers. You can report price gouging and scams to the CT Office of the Attorney General, HERE, or to local police.
  • Check social media groups that are dedicated to infant feeding and formula. Members may have ideas on where to find formula. Always check with your pediatrician regarding any provided advice. Click here to check out the Find My Formula CT Facebook Group that has been shared on a number of news outlets.
  • It is unsafe to add more water to formula, make homemade infant formula, or use regular cow’s milk, or other milk substitutes to feed infants. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends feeding infants iron-fortified infant formula during the first year of life when breastmilk is unavailable.
  • WIC families can contact their local WIC office with questions. If you are unable to reach your local WIC office by phone you can send an email. Find local WIC office phone numbers and emails by clicking HERE. You can also reach out to or 1-800-741-2142 for assistance.
  • Call 2-1-1 or visit to locate community organizations that provide emergency formula.
  • Connecticut participates with Mother’s Milk Bank Northeast, which sends most of its donated breast milk to neonatal care units across the state. It’s also available for purchase. Please visit to learn about it.
  • The US Department of Health & Human Services has additional resources for families to use. Click HERE for more information.
While these resources will not solve the formula shortage, I hope they’ll be helpful during these challenging times.

If you have any additional questions or are struggling to find formula, please reach out to my office for help.


the Public Health and Children’s Committees hosted a hearing on the issue, which you can watch here. When asked directly by Rep. Berger-Girvalo what a parent should do if they cannot find formula, the answer was call your pediatrician. This is the best place to start if you find yourself in that position, but again, please reach out if you need help.
Community Investment Fund

Last year, I voted for the future of our communities by establishing the $875 million Community Investment Fund (CIF). This is a transformational opportunity to invest in underserved communities in Connecticut through economic development and small business, education, and infrastructure projects.
The CIF allows $175 million per year for the next five years in bonding, with the option to renew the program for an additional five years. This funding will be directed to projects proposed by
eligible municipalities, community development corporations, or nonprofit organizations.

Derby is an eligible municipality and could receive grants available through the CIF for:

  • Capital Improvement Programs: brownfield remediation, affordable housing, infrastructure, clean energy development, and home or public facility rehabilitation
  • Small Business Capital Programs: revolving or micro loan programs, gap financing, and start-up funds to establish small businesses

Applications for the fund have not yet been posted on the CIF website, but are anticipated to be by the end of the month. In the meantime, the Department of Economic & Community Development is hosting an informational webinar on June 1 from 11AM – 12PM. If you have any questions about the CIF, this will be a great opportunity to ask them.

I am proud to see our community recognized with the investments that can be made through the CIF. A special thank you to the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus leadership and the Speaker of the House Representative Matthew Ritter for all their hard work to create this fund.
Child Tax Payments
Applications for the Child Tax Payments - that was included as part of a historic $600 million in tax cuts in our 2022 state budget - will open June 1.
Any Connecticut resident who claimed at least one child as a dependent, under the age of 18, on their 2021 federal income tax return may be eligible to receive a maximum payment of $250 per child (for up to three children) with the following income guidelines (higher incomes may be eligible for a reduced rebate):
Anyone who is interested in seeking a payment must apply to the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services with applications closing on July 31 - recipients will receive funds beginning in late August.
Information on the 2022 CT Child Tax Payments
The Department of Revenue Services is in the process of reaching out to eligible households and I encourage you to share this information with any parents that may qualify.
Quality Parenting Initiative
There is still tome to register for this year's QPI Virtual National Conference, “Building the Movement Together: Excellent Parenting for Every Child, Every Day”!

Each site and individual brings a unique approach to achieving excellent parenting for every child, every day. Join them next week, May 24th - 26th at the virtual conference to focus on various perspectives of the QPI core principles and successful strategies for implementing them.

Registration open until end of conference. Click here to register.
New Alert System in Derby

The City of Derby has started using the CodeRED notification system. This is a system that notifies residents of emergency situations and/or general notifications. Residents, business owners, or other interested parties of the City of Derby may opt in or out of participating with the system.

If you want to sign up for Derby CodeRed notifications:

  • Click here
  • Text DERBYALERT to 99411 to receive a direct link to the enrollment form on a mobile device

Anyone who wants to opt out of the system:

The CodeRed mobile app is available for download from the App Store for Apple users and Google Play for Android users.

Recipients of CodeRed notifications will recognize the CodeRED call when their caller ID displays the following numbers. 866−419−5000 for Emergency Alert for Emergency Notifications 855−969−4636 or Community Alert for General Notifications. To ensure you receive the notifications, please be sure to add these telephone numbers into your cell phone contacts.

If you know of anyone who wants to sign up for the system but does not have a smart phone or a computer, please advise them to contact Town/City Clerk Marc Garofalo at 203-736-1462 for assistance.

Roadwork in Orange

The CT Department of Transportation will begin paving on Route 1 in Orange on May 22. The project involves the replacement of circular arch culverts constructed in 1926, widening the existing roadway and adding a turning lane on Boston Post Road. Short term detour routes will be provided during the period when the roadway requires milling and paving.

Lane Closure Info

  • There may be a temporary road closure on Route 1 to complete the paving operation.
  • All business access for properties located within the construction zone will remain open, though traffic may only be able to access from one direction or the other on Route 1 during the construction activity.

Detour Info

  • Route 1 Northbound will head northwest onto Orange Center to Route 34 (Derby Avenue/Derby Turnpike). Turn right onto Route 34 (Derby Avenue/Derby Turnpike). Turn right onto Racebrook Road to Boston Post Road.
  • Route 1 Southbound will head northwest on Racebrook Rd to Route 34. Turn left onto Route 34 (Derby Avenue/Derby Turnpike). Turn left onto Orange Center to Boston Post Road.
Events Attended
I was so pleased to attend the Annual Reception of the Valley Community Foundation, on May 17th at Race Brook Country Club, to honor the new funds that were created to support the philanthropic mission of promoting and supporting Valley communities. You can learn more by clicking here.
Last night I had the honor of attending the Orange Living Treasure Award dinner at High Plains Community Center. Alongside Reps. Kennedy and Ferraro, we presented citations to the newest recipients of this award, Donald Clark, Marianne Miller, and Ralph Okenquist for their lifelong contributions to our town. It was a lovely event hosted by the Orange Senior Center and I am so glad I was able to be part of it.

There was also a raffle to support the Senior Center and I was lucky enough to win a visit to the PEZ museum! As the Senate did not vote to make the lollipop the official state candy, there might still be a way to honor this unique candy - I'm sure another visit will help me gather more research for next session 😉.

Beat the Heat
Aid for Ukraine
As we continue to watch the horrifying and saddening conflict between Russia and Ukraine, I wanted to remind you all that we do not have to sit back helplessly, there are ways we can offer aid and support to the innocent citizens of Ukraine.

Fellow community member, Olena Lennon, provided us with this list of legitimate donation sites for aid to the Ukrainian community.

Click here to help volunteer to help Ukraine.

Click here to learn more about projects helping Ukraine.

Click here to support funding to cover administrative costs to help Ukraine.

Click here to learn how to help Ukrainians.

Our community, state and country all stand with the innocent citizens of Ukraine and we will continue to do all we can to offer support while actively trying to deescalate conflict.