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Baby formula shortage: Families dealing with crisis encouraged by shipments

The first military flight carrying baby formula from Europe arrived Sunday in Indiana. The Biden Administration says there's even more coming this week.
Infant formula shortage
Posted at 11:40 PM, May 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-22 23:40:53-04

CINCINNATI — President Joe Biden launched Operation Fly Formula to speed up the import of infant formula and start getting more formula to stores as soon as possible. According to the White House, this formula will be distributed to doctor's offices and pharmacies but not store shelves.

Operation Fly Formula's first shipment of 78,000 pounds of specialty infant formula arrived at the Indianapolis International Airport Sunday morning.

It’s news many parents have been waiting for as the formula crisis continues. Some parents say it’s giving them hope.

“Pretty much since he's been born, I’ve had a hard time finding his formula," Megan Heuerman said.

Heuerman, a mother of two from Lawrenceburg, said it’s difficult to find formula for her son Jackson. He needs hypoallergenic formula. The shortage has forced her to change brands.

“It isn’t the best for him, but it was my only option," Heuerman said. “Every time you switch, they have to get used to it. There's spit up and all that, but he's doing okay.”

The Biden administration is working to relieve the pinch on parents with operation fly formula. A military cargo plane carrying the first shipment from Germany touched down in Indianapolis Sunday morning.

The specialized formula is dedicated to babies like Jackson who need hypoallergenic formula.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was in Indianapolis. He spoke on the tarmac shortly after the plane landed and said the shipment should help around 9,000 babies.

The shipment was taken off of the cargo plane and loaded onto FedEx trucks before being taken to a Nestle distribution center.

Next the formula will be delivered to hospitals and home healthcare clinics across the country.

In total, the Operation shipments will transport the equivalent of up to 1.5 million 8 oz. bottles of three formulas — Alfamino Infant, Alfamino Junior, and Gerber Good Start Extensive HA.

Additional flights are expected to be announced in the coming days.

Heuerman says anything helps. "I think it's great they're able to do that," she said. "I have enough (formula) for a little while now. I have a few cans and some samples from his doctor not too long ago. I just try to get what I can."

She said her pediatrician has been helpful by giving her formula samples. And family and friends help too.

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