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ABC15 joins Valley mom on daily search for formula to highlight the struggle

Posted at 10:20 PM, May 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-20 01:20:18-04

PHOENIX — Juana Hernandez says this is her second full-time job. The North Phoenix mother of two invited ABC15 along, searching for baby formula after she got off work.

Juana says her 10-month-old baby, Katalia, needs a specific type of formula.

Months ago, she says it became impossible to find. That's because it was recalled by the FDA. No luck after our first stop at a grocery store.

So, we head to the next stop. ABC15’s Christine Stanwood asks how far she's driven to find formula.

"Surprise, Arizona all the way to Mesa,” Juana replies. She says it’s an hour drive.

On the weekends, it's a family effort to find formula. We park at our second stop, Juana walks in and quickly out again, with no cans for Katalia. We travel a few miles to the next store.

"I try to keep it positive because I have my kids with me,” says Juana.

Juana drives to the third and final store Thursday evening. It's 5:45 p.m. She enters the store and moments later, walks out speechless.

"It's already hard enough to deal with having a child, having a baby,” says Juana. “All the phases they go through before they turn one. And now on top of that, you know, finding food for your baby."

Before we head back to her home, Juana explains why she chose to do this interview.

"Hopefully this shines a light and shows those companies that we're in desperate need of it, that we need this— this to feed our babies," Juana says.

"What if we don't have any more formula? Or she runs out of more formula? And I can't find it anywhere. What's the next step? Like where do I go? [...] I already exhausted all my resources,” Juana says.

And as we leave empty handed, these conversations, questions, and exhaustive searches from parents continue until formula is put back on the shelves.