Getting Formula Was a Strain for Many Low-Income Families Before Shortages

Miracle Abbott became pregnant during her junior year at the University of South Carolina Upstate. She worked a low-wage job and had mounting student debt, so the then-19-year-old turned to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, known as WIC, to get infant formula and food. But after she gave birth, her baby had colic and painful reflux and her pediatrician recommended a special formula not available through the program. It took four months, three pediatrician appointments, and two meetings at her local WIC office before the program provided her with formula that worked for her daughter.…

Fertilizer Shortage Will Drive Global Food Prices Higher as Ukraine War Drags On

Across the country, people are struggling to purchase nutritious food as global inflation takes root. Low-income people already spend a disproportionate proportion of their income on groceries. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that between April 2021 and April 2022, food prices increased by an average of 9.4 percent. But that includes restaurants prices, which increased at a slightly lower clip than grocery prices. Grocery and supermarket prices, by contrast, in April were fully 10.8 percent higher than in the previous year. The department’s Economic Research Services estimates that these prices will increase a further 8 percent this year. This…

Infant Formula Crisis Highlights Breastfeeding Barriers in Southern States

Despite efforts in recent weeks by the federal government to address the ongoing infant formula shortage, parents are still struggling to find formula. The Food and Drug Administration announced this week that nearly two million cans of infant formula from a United Kingdom-based company would arrive in the United States in the coming days. Abbott Laboratories — the Illinois-based company whose alleged unsanitary conditions led to a voluntary recall of baby formula, the deaths of two infants, and the closure of a large formula manufacturing plant in Michigan, sparking the crisis — announced it will release about 300,000 cans of…

Russia’s Siege on Mariupol Is Leading to Mass Starvation, UN Official Says

David Beasley, executive director of the United Nations World Food Program, is sounding the alarm about people being “starved to death” in Mariupol, a city in southeastern Ukraine surrounded by Russian troops. In a Thursday interview with the Associated Press, the WFP chief predicted that the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine is likely to grow worse in the weeks ahead as Russian President Vladimir Putin intensifies his deadly assault on the Donbas region and beyond. The invasion that began on February 24 is “devastating the people in Ukraine,” said Beasley, who decried aid groups’ inability to access civilians in need amid…