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'It's Heart Wrenching': Baby Formula Shortage Caused By Supply Chain Issues, Recall

WEST BRIDGEWATER (CBS) - First it was cleaning supplies, then toilet paper. Now, baby formula is entering the infamous category: impossible to find.

Families across the country report going to series length to get formula for the youngest among us.

Caitlin Joyce, of Plymouth, has a six-month old son and is struggling to find what she needs.

"The shelves are empty. I have never seen it like that before," said Joyce. "I have family in Boston they look in local food stores, they couldn't find anything. I have family in other parts of Massachusetts they couldn't find anything. It got to be really, really scary."

Joyce said a friend drove all the way to Rhode Island before finding the formula she needed on the shelf.

Like so many families, Joyce said she has been impacted by Similac's recall.

Since February, the company has been asking people to check their cans at home, while millions were pulled from stores due to contamination concerns.

Joyce said that recall, paired with the supply chain issues from earlier this year, have created the current scarcity on the shelves. Prices have gone up too.

Kimmarie Matchem works at Keeping Pace with Multiple Miracles. The non-profit is based in West Bridgewater and runs solely on donations.

Matchem said while formula donations are dwindling, demand is skyrocketing.

"(We see) 15 calls a day at a minimum, just to see if we have what they need," said Matchem. "It's really, really hard out there."

Keeping Pace with Multiple Miracles said they gave away more than $180,000 in donated formula and diapers last year alone.

This year is different. Matchem said they need donations with families from dozens of communities relying on their organization for essentials.

"It's heart wrenching," said Matchem. "I am a Nonni of six, and it's heart wrenching to know some parents can't give their children the right nutrition that they need."

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