Pregnant or have children under 5? Learn how WIC Can help


updated: 10/07/2022

Infant Formula Shortage

The Inyo County Health & Human Services - Public Health and WIC programs continue to meet with the local healthcare providers to determine the needs and options for our community. Health officials will continue to monitor the shortage and provide updates as new information is available.

PH & WIC Phone #s (updates - 6/9/22)

Babies need the right balance of nutrients - not too much or too little of anything - to grow and be healthy. It is important for your baby's health to use products that meet federal standards to ensure the formula is safe and free of harmful bacteria.

During this challenging time, Inyo County is encouraging parents and families to:

  • If you are currently breastfeeding, continue if possible. We recognize this option may not be viable for everyone. If someone is partially breastfeeding, they may consider reaching out to a lactation care provider (in-person or by telehealth) to help ensure that they maintain or increase their milk supply by breastfeeding more.
  • Talk to your child's doctor about substituting formula brands. For most babies, if their regular brand of formula is not currently available, it is OK to substitute with a similar version. Also consult your child's pediatrician if your baby requires a specialized formula, before making any substitution. If you have questions about which formula is acceptable, contact your child's pediatrician or your local WIC agency.
  • Avoid making your own formula at home, use expired formula, use cow, goat, or plant-based milk for formula, or giving toddler formula to infants. Although recipes for homemade baby formulas on the internet may seem like an answer to the formula shortage, they can be dangerous for your baby’s health. Pediatricians advise that homemade formula may not be safe or meet your baby's nutritional needs.
  • Do not water down formula to make it last longer. When babies drink too much water, it’s hard on their tiny kidneys to process the extra water. It can also affect electrolytes which are essential minerals for the body. And if that happens, it’s not safe for a baby’s brain, muscles, and nervous system.
  • Apply to the WIC program. To apply call 760-872-1885. About half of all births in California are in low-income families who qualify for the WIC program, and income-eligible clients can receive a WIC card and use it to purchase a limited amount of formula at participating retail stores. WIC offices are staffed by individuals with close ties to their communities. Existing WIC clients should use their benefits for formula earlier in the month in case they run into shortages near the end of their benefit period.
  • Find out what resources exist in the community and share those resources widely. If you see infant formula in stock when you're shopping, make it known within your network.


The WIC Program (or the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) provides food, nutrition counseling, and access to health services to low-income women, infant, and children.

The mission of WIC is to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutrition risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care.

Inyo County WIC has office hours Monday through Friday 8:00am to12:00pm and 1:00pm to 5:00pm in Bishop and once per month on the second Thursday of the month in Lone Pine.

Contact Inyo County WIC by calling: (760) 872-1885 or email: WIC@inyocounty.us

News Items: WIC

Infant Formula (english & spanish)
INFANT FORMULA SHORTAGE - Update: Thursday, June 9, 2022 - English - INYO COUNTY, CA (June 9, 2022) – There continues to be a shortage of infant…

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