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Food Insecurity is on the Rise

With food insecurity on the rise at an alarming rate, families are struggling to afford basic necessities for their children from infant formula to diapers. Additionally, anticipated price increases within infant care categories like diapers will stretch low-income families even further. Although a difficult topic to discuss, you can help make a difference in the lives of your patients and their familiess by providing all available solutions.

According to a recent survey conducted by The Brookings Institution,

1 in 5 young U.S. children

The Brookings Institution Icon

are currently not getting enough food, with overall food insecurity jumping to more than 40% for households with children under 12.1

Families Rely on Your Advice

Before the COVID-19 crisis, research showed that 99% of pediatricians have had families express concerns about the cost of infant formula.2 And the economic downturn associated with the pandemic is triggering greater increases in food insecurity. As their pediatrician, parents rely on your expertise and guidance when it comes to the health and safety of their babies. It’s helpful, wherever possible, if your recommendations are not adding extra financial burden. Generic infant formulas provide more affordable access to complete infant nutrition.

Baby Drinks Milk Formula
SNAP, Food Pantries, and WIC

A Patchwork of Solutions

Although there are a variety of resources available to food-insecure families such as food pantries, government funded programs and more, it still may not be enough. For example, WIC* and SNAP** help support millions of families across the country by providing free infant formula or money to purchase necessities, but many will still run out of benefits before the end of the month.

The WIC Gap

WIC is a wonderful program that was always intended to be supplemental. As a result, families who qualify for WIC must pay full price for approximately 20 percent of their infants’ needs.4 This is cost-prohibitive, especially considering the prices of Enfamil® and Similac®5 continue to rise; they have risen over 6 percent during the past three years.6

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SNAP Eligible

All infant formulas are eligible for SNAP, but when using SNAP dollars to buy Store Brand Infant Formula instead of the nationally advertised brands, families can get twice as many days of safe, complete nutrition.6 These savings allow the opportunity for parents to buy more of the other necessities and nutritious foods they need to care for the whole family.

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For example, diapers for one child can cost about $80 per month, but one in three American families struggled to afford diapers even before the pandemic.10 The National Diaper Bank Network reported an 86% increase in the amount of diapers distributed to families during the pandemic. Families who switch from expensive name brand formula to Store Brand Infant Formula can save approximately $62 monthly.6
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Unsafe Practices

The last thing anybody wants is to compromise the well-being of their babies. However, faced with financial stress, parents may take measures that can negatively affect their infants’ at a critical time of growth and development. Some might try switching to cow’s milk too early or attempt to stretch their formula supply by diluting it with extra water. And that can be very dangerous.

1 in 5 moms

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said they have used more water than required by the instructions when preparing infant formula.7

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of food-insecure families report stretching, diluting, or limiting formula to make it last.8

Help families stretch their paychecks, not their formula.

With $20, families can provide 5 more days of complete nutrition by choosing Store Brand Infant Formula compared to name brands.9

Store Brand Infant Formulas provide complete nutrition, just like Similac® and Enfamil®, but cost about 50% less.5,6 Every dollar counts to ensure baby is fed every day. So talk to your patients about all available options.

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Help Families Afford Complete Infant Nutrition

Pediatric providers are on the front lines, acting as a gateway in identifying and supporting struggling families. The good news is that you can help educate families on safe infant formula feeding practices. Here are some helpful tools that can educate parents and give them an immediate way to reduce their spending on infant formula.

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Discuss less expensive options:
Many parents aren’t aware that store brand (or generic) infant formulas offer the same nutrition as name brands like Enfamil®, Similac® and Gerber®, but cost 50% less.5,6 Share this helpful e-book with valuable infant feeding tips and formula buying guide with your families.

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How to compare store brands:
One way to help parents find comparable store brand infant formulas is our “Buying Guide” poster. When parents see it at your practice, it makes it easier to identify store brands alternatives.

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Get parents started:
Parents can receive a rebate that covers the full price of the formula (up to $20 which can cover about 9 days of complete nutrition9). It’s an easy way for them to try store brand infant formula.

These challenging times require medical professionals to go above and beyond. We appreciate everything you do to keep families safe and healthy, and we hope these resources offer you a measure of support.

* Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children
** Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
1COVID Impact Survey, April 2020. Brooking Institution Hamilton Project.
2Wakefield Research, (2019), Perrigo Formula for Safety Survey. 500 respondents.
3USDA. 2009. A Guide For Use In The WIC And SCF Programs.
4Abrams, S. A., & Daniels, S. R. (2019). Protecting Vulnerable Infants by Ensuring Safe Infant Formula Use. The Journal of Pediatrics, 211, 201–206.
5Enfamil® is a registered trademark of Mead Johnson & Co. Similac® is a registered trademark of Abbott Laboratories. Gerber® is a registered trademark of Nestle® Brands.
6Calculations based on January 2021 IRi Market Advantage annual retail sales data of national brand infant formula compared to store brand infant formula based on an average cost per week and average weekly usage of 1.5 pounds of powder.
7Perrigo Nutrition Feeding Realities Survey, 2018
8Burkhardt, Mary Carol, et al. “Are Our Babies Hungry? Food Insecurity Among Infants in Urban Clinics.” Clinical Pediatrics, vol. 51, no. 3, 2011, pp. 238–243., doi:10.1177/0009922811426767.
9Reflects an average consumption of 26 fl. oz. per day in the first year. Pricing, reconstitution rates and infant formula consumption may vary. Based on IRi Market Advantage sales data, September 2020.

Help Families Get Up to 8 Days1 of Store Brand Infant Formula for Free, After Rebate!

While we don’t flood your office with samples, we can help patients try store brand for free … you can request a rebate kit for your practice, which includes important product information for you, and 50 rebate tear-sheets worth up to $20 each to hand to your patients. This helps them get started experiencing complete nutrition with everyday savings provided by store brand infant formula.

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Rebate Tearsheet Kit

1Reflects an average consumption of 1.5lbs powder per week in the first year. Pricing, reconstitution rates and infant formula consumption may vary.
Based on Circana sales data April 2023.