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Formula shortage puts pressure on mothers of twins

Amanda Johnson says Costco wouldn't make exception for her twin babies
'All Baby Formula' restrictions on purchase sign
Posted at 4:46 PM, May 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 08:30:29-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — As the formula shortage stretches into another week, WPTV on Tuesday spoke to a Palm Beach County mother of twins who said she was denied by a Costco manager food for both of her babies.

Several retailers are enforcing purchase limits, making it twice as hard for mothers of multiples.

Finding formula has turned into a full-time job for Amanda Johnson.

"Every day I go out hunting for formula," Johnson said.

With two mouths to feed, that job becomes even harder when restrictions are in place.

"There shouldn't be just, hey, it's a one size fits all, because it's not," Johnson said.

Johnson spent weeks searching for Enfamil Gentlease formula and finally struck gold on Friday at her neighborhood Costco in Boca Raton. But there was just one problem. She said she was only allowed to buy one can, which isn't enough for her twin 8-month-old boys.

"So I find a manager. I ask, 'You know, is there any way for me to get double? I've got two children,' and was told, 'No.' No consideration," Johnson said.

It's not just Costco limiting formula purchases. In response to the shortage and recall, Walmart, Target, CVS and Walgreens all have places restrictions on formula. Walmart was the only store WPTV found where the limit depended on the number of babies, a policy Johnson said should be in place at other stores.

Amanda Johnson says Costco manager wouldn't make exception on baby formula restrictions for her twins
Amanda Johnson, who is the mother of 8-month-old twins, says the Costco in Boca Raton wouldn't make an exception to its limitations on baby formula. "So I find a manager. I ask, 'You know, is there any way for me to get double? I've got two children,' and was told, 'No.' No consideration," Johnson says.

"It's just heartbreaking when you're standing there and there's a limit of one and you're thinking, 'I've got two mouths to feed. How do I just take the one and be OK?'" Johnson said.

Others moms who spoke with WPTV shared the same frustrations.

"It’s not right. We need to be doing something as a nation to help mothers and to help each other," Marisa Caston said.

For now, Johnson said, she will continue to get by with using samples and rely on local mom Facebook pages to find formula.

WPTV called Costco to find out if the company plans to make exceptions to its policy for mothers with multiple children and is still waiting to hear back.