WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — An Air Force C-17 jet touched down in Indianapolis on Sunday morning with 40 tons of baby formula on board.
“This shipment provides enough formula to take care of 9000 babies and 18,000 toddlers,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.
The formula was produced in Switzerland, trucked to Germany and flown to the U.S.
It is the first shipment in the Biden administration’s Operation Fly Formula.
Vilsack met the flight and he says the normal commercial process would take two weeks to get the shipment to the U.S.
“As a result of the United States military’s involvement, we’re going to get this here in a matter of days,” he added.
Vilsack says this is badly needed formula for babies and children with special dietary needs.
“Children who have allergies where the regular formula just simply will not work,” he told reporters.
However, this first shipment will not fill empty store shelves. It goes to hospitals and home health care facilities across the country. But more shipments are on the way.
A single plant shutdown helped create the formula shortage in the U.S. Economic council director Brian Deese told CNN’s State of the Union the U.S. must encourage more companies to produce formula.
“So that no individual company has this much control over supply chains,” Deese said.
Vilsack promised there is an effort to get the closed formula production facility back open, as soon as possible.
“And the expectation is that in the next couple of weeks, we’ll begin to see product from that facility,” Vilsack said.
Americans can expect store shelves to return to normal in a few weeks.