SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — The State of Illinois is asking retailers to set aside baby formula for low-income families during a nationwide shortage.

In coordination with the USDA Food & Nutrition Service, Illinois retailers are being encouraged to set aside formula for low-income families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program.

“The ongoing formula shortage has brought undue stress into the lives of new parents, and my administration will do everything in our power to help families maintain access to formula,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “We’ve partnered with our suppliers and continue to ramp up our support centers to ensure our residents, especially low-income families, have what they need to care for their babies.”

As of March 2022, there were 43,568 infants active on the WIC program.

Nationwide, baby formula is scarce due to an FDA recall on products produced by Abbott Laboratories, including Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare after babies became sick after consumption.

Supply chain issues have also contributed to the shortage.

The FDA announced Monday that Abbott should be able to begin producing formula again within the next two weeks.

Illinois contracts with Chicago-based manufacturer Mead Johnson for its supply of infant formula for WIC recipients.

Illinois has about 1,500 authorized retail vendors — including Walgreen’s, Jewel, Kroger, Meyer, Hy-Vee, and CVS — that accept WIC “Electronic Benefit Transfer” (EBT) cards.