Baby formula shortage worsens with 40% out of stock at more than 11,000 stores nationwide

"(It's) so heartbreaking to walk through the aisle and see that the shelves are completely empty."
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Parents are scrambling to find formula to feed their babies. Many of them are now resorting to donated breast milk and social media groups to help them find the stockpiles.

"We went to the store and couldn't find anything," said Jared Jordan of Savannah, Georgia.

We found empty shelves inside a Philadelphia Target, with a sign that reads "the FDA has issued a national recall for select Similac and Alimentum powdered baby formulas."

In February, Abbott Nutrition voluntarily recalled three of its products after reports of illnesses and two deaths.

SEE ALSO: Baby formula shortage hitting US is getting worse following recall on numerous brands

"(It's) so heartbreaking to walk through the aisle and see that the shelves are completely empty," said Bront Serensits of East Falls.

Forty percent of baby formula was out of stock at more than 11,000 stores nationwide, according to USA Today. That number is up from 30% just two weeks ago.

Now, major retailers like Walgreens and CVS are limiting how much formula a customer can buy.

"Going through a can every four days is not uncommon. Let's say you have two cans and you're a week in a half in, and you have to go back out to multiple stores to get it," said Jordan.

It's gotten so bad that local mothers are taking to social media for help.

SEE ALSO: Baby formula shortage continues to be a problem for parents all across the country

In a West Chester mom's group on Facebook, one woman wrote, "I can't find formula anywhere including Target. I'm starting to panic."

"A lot of women have been posting about their struggles finding formula. A lot of women I know and moms I know ask g about formulas, asking others if they've found it in their home and are willing to ship it," said Serensits.

Other parents are bypassing the stores and buying formula online instead, but doctors recommend you do your research first.

"One easy thing you can do is try to switch formulas. See if your child can tolerate that. If people out there are turning to the Internet, auction sites, or social media to get formula, you have to make sure that you're using an FDA approved formula, FDA approved to make sure that it is safe, that it has the exact nutrient composition that young babies need," said Dr. Alok Patel, a pediatrician with Stanford Children's Health.
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