By Siafa Lewis

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The White House announced new steps Wednesday for getting more baby formula into stores. This comes as Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf made a big announcement in an effort to ease the shortage.

As if dealing with increased costs at the grocery store, gas station and virtually every other place you spend your hard-earned money weren’t stressful enough, for months now, families depending on baby formula have been forced to deal with a shortage caused by a safety recall in February, which forced Abbott Nutrition to shut it’s manufacturing plant. But now help is on the way.

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“There’s nothing more stressful than the feeling you can’t get what your child needs,” President Joe Biden said during a virtual roundtable meeting with executives from leading formula manufacturers. “I ask you to keep focus, stay focused, stay in high gear. We can’t let up on the infant formula market until it’s all the way back to normal.”

Additionally, formula companies in Australia are sending 4.5 million bottles worth of formula to the U.S. this month. Companies in the UK are sending 3.5 million bottles’ worth.

Then there’s Reading-based ByHeart, a brand new formula manufacturer.

“When we launched just now in March of this year we became one of just five infant formula manufacturers in this country,” ByHeart president and co-founder Mia Funt said.

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Wolf announced Wednesday the state is investing just shy of $2 million in ByHeart.

“ByHeart is creating a whole new formula, a new way for nursing children to get the formula they need at a time when there is a shortage. It’s perfect timing,” Wolf said.

The governor added he was excited to attend ByHeart’s grand opening back in March, but he had no idea then just how important it would be.

“Little did we know even then that the world would be facing the shortage that we’re facing right now. But we knew, all of us, even then this was a big deal. This was something that was really important to the future not only of Pennsylvania but this country,” Wolf said.

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Abbott Nutrition plans to reopen the Michigan facility that it was forced to close in March this Saturday, perhaps a cause
for cautious optimism that the shortage will soon be over.