MEMPHIS, Tenn.– FedEx employees and trucks were on hand in Indiana Sunday to off-load and transport enough specialized formula for more than half a million baby bottles to its destination.
“Operation Fly Formula” is underway after a U.S. Military plane carrying 78,000 pounds of baby formula landed in Indianapolis from Germany on Sunday.
The relief from Europe comes amid a formula shortage surging across the U.S.
“We know that we have a lot of babies who need access to formula and that this will tremendously benefit our families and children really throughout the country,” said Dr. Jason Yaun, the Division Chief of outpatient general pediatrics at the University of Tennessee and Le Bonheur.
The Nestle-brand specialized formula is for children with allergies.
“That’s one thing that this shipment will really benefit is babies with a milk-protein allergy who need specialized formula who are having trouble finding it,” Dr. Yaun said.
Indianapolis was chosen as the first destination because it is a Nestle distribution hub.
Memphis-based FedEx told us its employees were on hand to off-load the formula into trucks and then transport it to the center.
It will then undergo a standard quality control check before it’s transported to hospitals, doctor’s offices, and pharmacies.
President Joe Biden also said more specialized formula is expected to arrive in Pennsylvania this week. This comes as federal officials announce Abbott, the nation’s largest formula manufacturer, can reopen soon after it was shut down in February.
The combined response will hopefully bring the desperate relief families need. Dr. Yaun advises families that are having problems getting formula to talk to their pediatrician.
“I think first and foremost use your pediatrician as an outlet for this. They may have samples of formula that they can provide, they may have knowledge of where availability may be high,” Dr. Yaun said.
Dr. Yaun also told us they never want parents to attempt to stretch formula or dilute it by watering it down or using homemade formulas.
We also reached out the Nestle to see if any of the formula is headed to hospitals here in the Mid-South. We are waiting to hear back.