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Baby formula shipment enough to fill 30,000 bottles coming to Milwaukee area

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Posted at 6:39 AM, Jun 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-13 18:42:59-04

MILWAUKEE — A new partnership to help feed babies and support families in Milwaukee will begin on Monday.

It will be first come, first serve, while supplies last, at Hayat Pharmacy located at 807 West Layton Avenue. Families can simply walk or drive-up.

Hayat has about 1,000 12.4 oz. cans of Similac Advance powder formula to distribute. That's enough to fill about 30,000 bottles.

The question this morning was how will that be distributed to families who need it?

Hayat Pharmacy and Capri Communities announced at a press conference that they will be donating 30,000 feedings of baby formula to the Milwaukee Diaper Mission.

The formula will be given out starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 14 at Hayat's location at 813 W. Layton Ave.

Every family that shows up will get one can.

Pharmacy workers worked overtime to get this formula amid the nationwide shortage.

“We spent hours every single day for weeks calling different wholesalers and suppliers all across the country,” said Tamir Kaloti, President of Hayat Pharmacy. “We would just keep asking if there was any available. We would place orders and many of them would get canceled. But finally, despite the difficulties, we have a supply of 1,000 cans for our community.”

Hayat Pharmacy has been a local leader in providing Covid-19 testing and vaccinations. Stepping up to help with the formula shortage became personal for Kaloti. His son was born one month ago.

“Having a baby and facing that nervousness, that anxiety of not being able to feed him really inspired me to help,” he said. “I had to do something. Not all women can breast feed. The baby formula shortage affects every family with an infant, regardless of socio-economic status. The fear and helplessness of families, mine included, is real.”

Capri Communities helped Hayat pay extra for the supply. Capri operates assisted living facilities in our area, employing more than 800 people.

“We found out that the formula shortage was affecting a lot of our workers, many of whom are mothers and fathers,” said Jim Tarantino, the CEO and Owner of Capri Communities. “We feel it’s our responsibility to be part of the solution.”

Milwaukee Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic is also helping organize this effort, along with the Milwaukee Diaper Mission, which is making sure everyone who comes for formula, also gets free diapers.

If you have a baby that requires special formula, the team at Hayat says to inform them of that when you show up. They will do what they can to help everyone.

As far as wider relief across the country, we know formula production is increasing, and Abbot's Michigan factory has re-opened. The president has invoked the Defense Production Act to get necessary ingredients to formula manufacturers as quickly as possible.

The first two shipments from the federal government's "Operation Fly Formula" have brought a total of nearly 1 million pounds of baby formula into the U.S. But that's just a fraction of what families need.

Heading into the weekend, the White House announced that another 212,000 pounds of formula is expected to arrive by the end of June.

The FDA is allowing more international manufacturers to sell their baby formula in the U.S. So far, three have gotten approval to do that. And because these brands haven't been sold here before, they'll look noticeably different. That will hopefully be a solid sign to families that help is on the way.

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