United Airlines is becoming the first major airline carrier to donate flights to ship baby formula from abroad to the United States as the federal government works to address the ongoing shortage, the White House announced Wednesday.
The flights will come as part of the White House’s “Operation Fly Formula” efforts.
“United Airlines has agreed to transport Kendamil formula free of charge from Heathrow Airport in London to multiple airports across the country over a three-week period. These are the first Operation Formula Flight to be donated by an airline carrier,” the White House said in a statement Wednesday.
Kendamil formula is manufactured by the United Kingdom-based Kendal Nutricare, which has announced plans to export 2 million cans of its infant formula to the US to help alleviate shortages.
United will fly more than 300,000 pounds of Kendamil infant formula starting June 9, per the White House, and they will be “be distributed and available for purchase at selected US retailers nationwide, as well as online.”
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The first shipment, the White House said, will be available at Target stores across the country “in the coming weeks,” but did not supply specific locations or timing.
The announcement comes as President Joe Biden is set to convene a roundtable with infant formula manufacturers, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, and Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy Wednesday afternoon to “receive updates on their progress in ramping up the supply of formula in the US,” according to a White House official. The meeting will include representatives from ByHeart, Bubs Australia, Reckitt, Perrigo and Gerber.