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Struggle to find baby formula continues in Tri-State Area months after peak of shortage

Struggle to find baby formula continues months after peak of shortage
Struggle to find baby formula continues months after peak of shortage 01:59

BLOOMFIELD, N.J. -- Months after the peak of the baby formula shortage, many parents of young kids are still struggling to find food for their babies.

CBS2's Nick Caloway caught up with Danae Previl-Sobers as she was food shopping in Bloomfield, New Jersey. She says she is excited to be expecting her second child next spring, but there are fears, too.

"It's terrifying, yeah," she said.

The ongoing baby formula shortage leaves her with no shortage of nerves.

"Everywhere you go, you go to Walmart, you go to CVS, you go to ShopRite, you go everywhere. Corner stores are out. It's like I have to start looking early, like from now, and I'm due all the way in May," she said.

RELATED STORY: First international shipment of baby formula arrives in U.S., but still no word when Tri-State Area will get more

Up the road in Passaic, Mirla Cruceta said she sometimes spends weeks looking for the right formula for her baby. She usually finds an empty shelf instead.

In Spanish, she said she feels very bad because she might not have enough food to give her daughter.

Experts say the shelves are less bare than they were in the peak of this shortage in May, but we are still in crisis. The shortage began when the Abbott plant in Michigan where 40% of the country's formula is made was shut down due to a recall.

Rudolf Leuschner, an associate professor of supply chain management at Rutgers Business School, likens that plant shutdown to draining 40% of the water from a river.

"It came back online and they're producing again, but again, you have to start filling up that river with water. So it's not going to be like, 'OK, we start producing, everybody's happy and everybody can find everything.' It's going to take just as long as it took to wind down, if not longer," he said.

The professor predicts a slow, painful recovery from this shortage, saying it could take several more months to return to normalcy on the formula aisle.

The Food and Drug Administration acknowledged last week that its response to the formula shortage was delayed.

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