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Hundreds of Houston moms lined up Saturday for baby formula giveaway

Houston is one of the hardest hit cities when it comes to the baby formula shortage, forcing desperate parents to drive hours just to feed their babies.

HOUSTON — You've heard the stories: Desperate moms and dads driving hours to find baby formula; empty shelves; worried experts. 

More than 40% of the most popular brands of formula are sold out at stores across the nation, according to an analysis of grocery stock from Datasembly.

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee teamed up with the National Association of Christian Churches Houston to give away baby formula Saturday to Houstonians in need. 

The formula was designated for use during a natural disaster, but instead they passed it out to parents who have been desperately searching for it.

Around 400 cars came through the even until supplies ran out. 

“I want to cry because I have been struggling with the formula and It’s been hard. I regret myself for not breastfeeding,” said Johana Hernandez.

She lives in Liberty and showed up hours before the event to make sure her daughter had formula. Hernandez said she has been on the hunt all over town.

"I went to Clear Lake, went to Galveston, League City," she said. "We have been everywhere we have been everywhere."

Another family was trying to make the last of their supply last when they showed up.

“I literally made her last bottle today while we were in line,” said Karen Maxwell.

Lee vowed to continue to work to increase availability for Houston and the rest of the nation.

“I understand the crisis mothers are facing in finding formula. I’m working with President Biden on supply chain issues but there must be an urgent response now," Lee said.

She said she hopes to partner with other disaster organizations to pass out whatever formula they have in storage and have another event soon.

Congress plans to address the national baby formula shortage in a hearing later this month.