78K lbs of baby formula to be distributed amongst hospitals, doctor's offices, pharmacies in the U.S.

Posted at 8:29 AM, May 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-23 08:29:40-04

(WXYZ) — The first batch of imported baby formula under "Operation Fly Formula" has arrived in the U.S..

The shipment arrived in Indianapolis Sunday on board a military cargo plane from Europe.

The initiative is part of the Biden Administration's plan to help alleviate the nationwide baby formula shortage.

But this first shipment of around 78,000 pounds of baby formula will not be hitting the shelves. Instead, they will be distributed amongst hospitals, doctor's offices, and pharmacies.

In the shipment, a specialized formula was brought over for babies who are allergic to cow's milk protein.

"I'm told that this shipment provides enough formula to take care of 9000 babies and 18,000 toddlers for a week," Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said.

But more is needed.

Data shows that the formula shortage is worsening nationwide.

An average of nearly 45% of baby formula is out of stock. One of the reasons is the recall at the Abbott Plant in Sturgis.

President Biden has invoked the defense production act to force suppliers to prioritize the production of infant formula. He's also authorized the Pentagon to use commercial flights to import supplies from abroad.

Officials say it will still be several weeks before things return to normal.

More imported formula is expected to arrive in Washington this week and in the following weeks, but as of now, it is not clear how future shipments will be distributed.