Deasy urges allocation of American Rescue Plan Act funds to address critical baby formula shortage
Funding would provide formula vouchers for families on WIC
HARRISBURG, June 16 – In an effort to help thousands of Pennsylvania families that are struggling to find baby formula, state Rep. Dan Deasy, D-Allegheny, is urging the PA House Appropriations Committee to allocate American Rescue Plan funds to provide vouchers for participants in the commonwealth’s Women, Infant and Children WIC program to purchase baby formula at any retailer.
In a letter to the committee’s Republican and Democratic chairmen, state Reps. Stan Saylor and Matt Bradford, respectively, Deasy said infants who rely on baby formula and whose families participate in WIC are in urgent need of support.
“Families of the approximately 35,000 infants participating in WIC in Pennsylvania are having a harder time securing baby formula on top of the current shortage because they have to rely on the limited number of retailers who participate in WIC,” Deasy said. “This is putting the lives of babies who urgently need formula at risk. This is not acceptable to me and should not be acceptable to any Pennsylvanian.”
Deasy added that the commonwealth is sitting on more than $2 billion in American Rescue Plan Act funds. He is requesting some of those funds be allocated to the state Department of Health’s Bureau of WIC, which could provide vouchers to families with infants that can be utilized at any retailer that sells baby formula. Deasy added that any participant in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program could also accept the vouchers for baby formula.
“I am drafting legislation to address the baby formula shortage; but providing critical and life-sustaining aid to these families should happen immediately,” Deasy said. “These families cannot wait for action as part of the overall budget process. I hope the House Appropriations Committee will consider my request and take prompt action.”
Deasy’s letter to the chairmen of the House Appropriations Committee can be found here.