"Operation Fly Formula," a military operation enacted by the US to replenish the country's scarce stocks of baby formula, has brought in a massive shipment from Germany, but it has been reported that none of it will be destined for retail sales.
This initial shipment, which landed in Indianapolis on Sunday, will be destined for pharmacies and health care facilities such as hospitals, clinics and doctors' offices, exclusively, as part of the administration's $28 million initiative to combat the shortage.
In a Sunday tweet issued by President Biden, he announced that more than 70,000 pounds of infant formula was on this first flight.
According to CNN, the shipment included 132 pallets of formula, which came from Zurich, Switzerland, and was trucked to Germany, where it was loaded onto a C-17 cargo plane destined for the US.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Sunday at the plane’s arrival that the shipment would feed around 9,000 babies and 18,000 toddlers for one week.
"It is a large shipment of very specific and specialized formula. Formula for moms and dads who have children who have allergies where the regular formula just simply will not work," he said.
A Biden administration official told CNN that this shipment of formula is not destined for stores, but would instead be distributed to pharmacies, hospital, doctors, and home health care facilities "where the needs are most acute."
The shortage of baby formula has been building for months, according to the Daily Wire. On February 17, Abbott Nutrition, the largest infant formula manufacturer in the US, recalled several lines of their powered formula and closed its plant in Sturgis, Michigan, the largest in the US.
The plant closure, combined with supply chain issues which started during the pandemic, has now worsened to the point where shelves, even at major retailers across the country, are still bare of baby formula.
In response to the shortage, the House passed $28 million in emergency funding on Friday aimed at combating the nationwide baby formula shortage.