A massive shipment of baby formula from Germany arrived in Indianapolis on Sunday morning as the Biden administration grapples with a shortage of the vital food for the nation’s infants.
Dubbed “Operation Fly Formula,” the operation to get scarce formula to the nation’s infants is using military aircraft. The shortage has been worsening in recent weeks due to a host of factors, including the shuttering of the nation’s biggest manufacturing plant.
“Folks, I’m excited to tell you that the first flight from Operation Fly Formula is loaded up with more than 70,000 pounds of infant formula and about to land in Indiana,” the White House tweeted from Biden’s Twitter account early Sunday morning. “Our team is working around the clock to get safe formula to everyone who needs it.”
Folks, I’m excited to tell you that the first flight from Operation Fly Formula is loaded up with more than 70,000 pounds of infant formula and about to land in Indiana.
Our team is working around the clock to get safe formula to everyone who needs it. pic.twitter.com/cX4KU0eDtZ
— President Biden (@POTUS) May 22, 2022
The shipment of baby formula that arrived on Sunday will be distributed around the country, a Biden administration official told CNN. The formula in the initial load will go to hospitals, doctors, home health care facilities, and pharmacies in regions “where the needs are most acute,” CNN reported. The first shipment of formula, Nestlé Health Science formula — including Alfamino Infant and Alfamino Junior, is hypoallergenic and for babies allergic to the protein in cow milk, the official said.
The shortage has been building for months. On February 17, Abbott Nutrition, the nation’s largest infant formula manufacturer, recalled several lines of powdered formula and closed its largest plant in Sturgis, Michigan.
Even before that, the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the supply chain and a shortage of plant workers had contributed to the problem.
A company called Datasembly ran an analysis that “showed that supply was ‘relatively stable for the first half of 2021. Then, the out-of-stock rate for baby formula hit 23% in January 2022 and has continued to climb, ” according to WKYC.
“Inflation, supply chain shortages, and product recalls have brought an unprecedented amount of volatility for baby formula,” Datasembly founder and CEO Ben Reich also said in the report released in April. “We expect to continue to see the baby formula category being dramatically affected by these conditions.”
As The Daily Wire reported earlier this month, the shortage has left parents frustrated as the shelves remain bare at popular retailers, including Walmart, Target, and grocery store chains. Many of these retailers have imposed limits on formula purchases, so moms can’t stock up even when it becomes available.
Most brands are also sold out online or are being offered by third-party sellers for exorbitant prices.