FACT CHECK: Can You Get Free Baby Formula During The COVID-19 Pandemic By Calling The Company?
An image shared on Facebook claims parents can get free baby formula if they call the telephone number on the back of its packaging.
This claim is a hoax that major formula producers in the U.S. and U.K. have debunked. Spokespeople from U.S. formula makers confirmed to the Daily Caller that parents cannot get free formula by calling the customer service line.
The claim that makers of baby formula sending cans of free baby formula to parents in need if they call the customer service line has circulated amid consumers stockpiling necessities in anticipation of shortages during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“For parents who cannot find formula in stores for their babies right now grab the can of formula that you do have, and call the number on the back and they will send you a whole case during this time!” reads a March 15 post.
The Caller reached out to major U.S. baby formula producers – Gerber, Enfamil and Similac – and was told the claim is false, however. (RELATED: Has The New Coronavirus Been Found In Toilet Paper?)
“We are aware of rumors claiming that Gerber is giving away free formula in response to the out of stocks,” Kelly Schneider, a spokesperson from Gerber, told the Caller in an email. “While this is not true, we are committed to our goal of supporting babies and families with dependable, affordable nutrition.”
“Currently, Similac is not offering any free product through our customer service line,” said a spokesperson from Abbott Laboratories, the maker of Similac, in a statement to the Caller.
When reached for comment, a spokesperson for Enfamil directed the Caller to a statement published on the infant formula producer’s website.
“Contrary to rumors in some online social networks, we are not distributing free cases of formula,” reads the statement. “We are instead focused on ensuring equitable availability for every baby based on what we know and in anticipation of what might develop in the coming weeks”
Similar statements debunking the viral claim as a hoax appear on Gerber and Similac‘s websites. The U.K. formula brand Aptamil also noted on its website that strict regulations in the country prevent the company from sending out free formula products.
“Here in the UK, we comply with strict Regulations and we are not allowed to send out formula products to parents for free,” reads a statement on Aptamil’s website. “This is the case for any formula products sold in the UK.”