Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee stepping up to combat baby formula shortage

A baby formula shortage is impacting families all across the nation and right here in Houston. 

On Saturday Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee partnered with NACC disaster services to distribute formula to hundreds of Houstonians in need.

NACC brought an 18-wheeler filled with baby formula that was being saved for a disaster, and handed it out from 2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. throughout the entire day there was a non-stop flow of cars wrapping around the building at Jack Yates High School where the distribution took place. 

"We did this at this moment because babies are growing and developing at a most rapid pace, and I can't suffer nor can their parents one moment when they’re not being nourished," said Congresswoman Lee.     

Reports show that 43% of baby formula is out of stock nationwide; the congresswoman says the pandemic and the aftermath has led to a supply jam and stress on delivery systems. 

"My concern is to get the product from where it is housed, and get it out on the street, in the stores, in distribution, get it to the food banks, get it where it can get to the people" she said. 

The Congresswoman has been working with the White House administration to end this supply chain problem. 

"We’re also going to directly come down on price gouging and hoarding," said Congresswoman Lee. 

More than half of baby formula in this nation is purchased by people who receive WIC assistance, meaning they’re limited to certain types of formulas within a certain price range, the congresswoman is working to change that. 

"I'm going to lift that regulation, and if you have a WIC card you can buy any product you can find as long as a pediatrician who’s seeing your baby approves it" Lee said. 

On Saturday approximately 400-families showed up and received formula. 

The congresswoman is also calling on the Red Cross, asking them to tap into their disaster supplies to help get formula in the hands of those who need it.