FORT WORTH, Texas — Amanda Mendoza sat in her car and took a deep breath.
It was the start of an arduous mission she has repeated day after a day for more than a month: driving to several stores in search of her 7-month-old daughter’s formula.
“It’s been stressful,” Mendoza said.
The national baby formula shortage has forced her to search across the entire Dallas-Fort Worth area. At least four times a week, the Fort Worth mom drives from one store to another in hopes of finding at least one can to feed her daughter, Aubriella.
“It’s starting to become harder and harder,” Mendoza said. “I went to over 20 stores in one day.”
After driving to 20 stores burning through half a tank of gas, she found a couple of cans to get her through the week.
Retail tracking group Datasembly found, in Texas, more than 50% of the baby formula supply is out of stock. Nationwide, the out-of-stock percentage was 42% in the week ending May 8.
This week, baby formula maker Abbott reached an agreement to reopen its formula plant, but it’ll be well over a month before any new product hits stores.
Mendoza described the feeling of finding her daughter’s formula as if she won the lottery.
Her daughter can only drink one type of formula, others make her vomit.
Tuesday, she was down to her last can. Mendoza grew increasingly worried as she saw empty shelves at every store she checked.
“Sometimes I wanna [sic] cry when I don’t find it,” Mendoza said. “'Cause I don’t know if she’s gonna eat.”
She broke into tears behind the wheel of her car. It was the face of mothers across the country who worry that things will only get worse.