MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — While a large baby formula plant in southwestern Michigan is expected to happen this weekend, it will take time for the nation’s shortage to ease.

On Mackinac Island for the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual Mackinac Policy Conference, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow talked about finding relief for families.

“Half the baby formula in the country goes to poor moms and babies under WIC (Women, Infant and Children welfare benefits) and so this is directly under my responsibility in the Agriculture Committee and so I went into hypergear,” Stabenow, D-Lansing, said. “We literally wrote a bill, introduced it in the House and Senate, passed it in a week and had the president sign it by the end of the week. I don’t know if that’s ever happened before but it’s because it was so serious and this has created the flexibility to get WIC moms the formula for their babies.”

Stabenow said that supply chain problems and lack of safety inspections due to COVID-19 in 2020 contributed to the shutdown of the Abbott Nutrition plant in Sturgis, which has been at the center of the shortage.

She says that importing foreign formula supplies will help in the short term for others who need the product until the Sturgis plant can reopen.