This week, First Lady Jill Biden hosted a photo opportunity with pallets of baby formula, as grocery store shelves are still empty.
“I’ve always said that food is love, but it’s also life.” The First Lady said as she was accompanied by the US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy.
The baby formula was flown by the DOF from Ramstein Air Base in Germany to Dulles International Airport near DC.
As a mother and grandmother, Biden said she felt what moms and families were going through during the scarcity.
“I’d like to say today to parents: You are not alone,” she continued. “Joe’s administration at the top understands what you’re going through.”
According to the White House, the shipment was 100,000 pounds, which is just a little fraction of what Americans consume on a daily basis.
The Biden administration has struggled to cope with the situation, as government officials were sluggish to react to the obvious shortages.
Last week, Biden revealed his intention to use the Defense Production Act to try and speed up formula deliveries after weeks of silence. He also called for a “Operation Fly Formula” to bring in baby formula from other nations in order to alleviate shortages.
Shortages have caused panic in America, with some parents resorting to rationing their children’s formula or making their own.
Some experts have pointed to the pandemic as the cause of the shortages, as parents are buying more formula than ever before while manufacturers struggle to keep up with demand.
The First Lady urged parents to contact their local grocery stores and ask about availability and delivery options. She also encouraged them to sign up for WIC, a program that provides free formula for low-income families.
Beyond the baby formula shortage, the US is also facing a meat shortage.
The Department of Agriculture announced last week that it would be buying $1 billion worth of beef, pork, and lamb in an effort to stabilize the market. The move came after weeks of plant closures and worker shortages caused by Covid-19.
The purchases will be distributed to food banks and other relief organizations.