BUFFALO, N.Y. — Across the county, state and country, families looking for baby formula are finding empty shelves.

With current stocks about 40 percent lower than average Erie County Legislature Minority Leader Joe Lorigo, C, said he's concerned.

"This is basic sustenance to sustain babies, infants, young people and I know that parents and caregivers across the county and state and country are having a difficult time right now and this is one of those situations where if we can help we should," Lorigo said.

He clocked a resolution Friday asking the county administration to discuss and adopt a plan to get products to families as soon as possible. Lorigo suggested the county potentially procure its own formula and set up sites where parents can purchase it at cost.

"Erie County in the midst of the pandemic was using our purchasing department to procure PPE and they did a good job," he said.

The County Executive's Office said the county used to provide formula under the WIC program but the previous administration ended that. While recognizing it as a serious issue, there's not currently a mechanism in place to do so.

Meanwhile, Democratic Assembly Member Bill Conrad, D-Tonawanda, said state legislators are discussing their options.

"I'm all for any and all methods and it is a conversation I was having with my colleagues literally yesterday as we've all seen those pictures of the shelves empty and it scares the hell out of me and my heart goes out to those families facing that crisis right now and if there is anything to do I will certainly pursue it," Conrad said.

Republican state senators also sent a letter to Governor's Office Thursday asking what the administration is doing. Senator Daphne Jordan, R-Halfmoon, said they also recommended some solutions although some are meant to address the issue in the future.

"It would be nice to have a plan so that we can distribute it in a smart manner for those in need and those in need are all over the state," she said.

Jordan recognized the state is taking some steps including monitoring supply chain and a push alert to New Yorkers with the excelsior pass app giving information on how to connect with local WIC assistance. In Erie County, Catholic Charities said it can help families with things like breastfeeding support, finding stores that accept WIC and communicating with distributors. 

"Our WIC program is here to help, here listen, here to guide. If we have any resources we are happy to assist in any possible way," WIC Director Judette Dahleiden.

Lawmakers said because the issues are being caused by manufacturing and supply chain failures, much of the solution may fall on the federal government.