CHICAGO - An airplane loaded with precious cargo is scheduled to arrive at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport Wednesday. It is transporting the makings of baby formula.
It's the latest delivery connected to "Operation Fly Formula" — the Biden Administration's effort to fly formula into the United States from overseas, during the formula shortage.
Three flights are bound for O'Hare this week bringing product from a plant in Singapore, where the Reckitt company makes formula normally for the Asian Market.
"It should be about six-million feedings when we're done. And we believe that's the largest shipment in the Fly Formula program to date," said Reckitt’s Senior Vice President Robert Cleveland.
By working with the FDA, Reckitt is sending base powder to Chicago, then on to its facility in Wanamingo, Minnesota, to create the well-known brand, Enfamil.
"We bring it into the U.S., and we blend it and packaged to US FDA standards. In the end, it will be a normal Enfamil product. And it will then be distributed to the 50,000 different retail outlets in the US that our product is normally distributed to," said Cleveland.
Cleveland says his company is running manufacturing facilities 24/7. On top of Singapore, they're working to get approval for formula from Mexico.
And he expressed pride in the company's work to help feed babies in the U.S. and ease pressure on parents worried about finding formula.
"I would have to say mostly it's a tremendous feeling of pride. I've never been part of an organization that stepped up in this way in the face of national crisis and I'm, I'm just privileged to be a part of it."
This week's flights are just the start. The Reckitt company says it has FDA approval to import the equivalent of 66-million servings of formula between now and November.