There is a very serious problem occurring that I think people on the Peninsula should be aware of. I am being denied the ability to feed my child. I receive WIC checks to purchase infant formula and for six of the past seven months I have found the shelf barren when I go into the store to purchase my formula.

Grocery store managers are aware of the problem but are both unsympathetic and unwilling to fix this problem. They are worried because a case of formula is $90 in their inventory, which is why they refuse to stock extra. This makes no sense as every time I go into the store my formula has already been purchased. The management makes comments such as "I'm doing the best I can," but this is untrue. If it were true, I would have formula to feed my child when I went into the store to purchase it. Like many others, I live on a budget and I do not have the means by which to run to another store and purchase the $15 can of formula whenever my local grocery decides they don't need to order more.

Infant formula is not like milk or cereal or other things that people can live without. It is the most important source of nutrition for children under one year of age and without it, my baby will be starved for the nutrients only available to him from his formula.

This is very serious and it needs to be fixed immediately. There is no reason the store cannot keep extra stock on hand. Each month any mother whose baby eats Enfamil Lacto-Free formula will be purchasing nine cans with their WIC coupons and if their children eat like my son does, they will be purchasing more. Cans of formula have at least an 18-month shelf life as the cans I purchased last month expire in December 2007. I have managed to find a way to get my formula each month, but what if I hadn't? My child would have been without formula and starving while I waiting for them to decide to order more.

There is a serious injustice to the children of the Peninsula. There needs to be a solution that will allow me and any other WIC mother to receive this very essential component to her child's life before any child on this Peninsula starves because of the refusal to carry a few extra cans of formula.

Jessica Beavers

Ocean Park

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