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Formula shortages, increased prices expected to continue in 2023

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Posted at 9:30 AM, Dec 23, 2022

The end of the year is a time to celebrate and reflect, but there are issues that made 2022 exhausting for many people. 

Breanna Dietrich, who lives in West Virginia, spent weeks searching for baby formula for her infant daughter when many shelves were bare nationwide. 

“Knowing where we were at, it still breaks my heart every day," she said.

Dietrich started a social media group earlier this year. It allowed people to post pictures of places they were finding the baby formula.

The formula shortage has improved since the middle of the year, but it's not over.

It's estimated roughly 87% of formula is now in stock.

However, nearly a third of adults with newborns at home said in a recent U.S. Census survey they’re still struggling to find what they need. Formula makers expect some shortages to continue until the spring.

Like the difficulty of finding the right baby formula, skyrocketing food prices is not an issue that will end in 2023.

Caterer Jessica Walks First said the ingredients she uses for her business doubled this year.

“They’ve gotten better in some aspects and in some aspects, they are still the same," she said.

Walks First's catering business specializes in Native American food. Her menu requires specific ingredients to be authentic, like wild rice, which she often buys from native growers on reservations.

In the fall, food and shipping costs were so high, she made 500-mile round trips herself, multiple times a month, to pick up the ingredients herself. Now, as 2022 comes to a close, she says she's in a better place.

“I’m not driving as much. I did find a good source for my wild rice where it now gets shipped to my house in 50-pound bags, so I have that going for me, which saves me 3-4 rides a month," Walks First said.

The USDA expects food prices to continue to rise in 2023 but not at the same rate as in 2022.

Walks First and Dietrich both are hopeful as another new year approaches.

“We get a little better back to the old normalcy," Dietrich said.

“I don’t do this as a job," Walk First stated. "This isn’t work for me. This is my passion, and my life dream, and I give it all I got."