Everything You Need to Know About Healthy Start Vouchers

Stephanie Douglas

Stephanie joined Veg Power in 2019 as project coordinator for the Eat Them To Defeat Them schools' programme. Stephanie has recently changed roles and now manages Veg Power's influencer network. In addition to working at Veg Power, Stephanie is currently writing a dissertation on the barriers of fruit and vegetable consumption in lower income families.

Health professionals talk about the importance of good nutrition for pregnant women and young children. The Healthy Start scheme supports low-income families to access healthier foods and free vitamins to help children get the best start in life.

 

What is the Healthy Start scheme?

The Healthy Start scheme supports pregnant women or those with children aged under 4. Eligible families can receive £4.25 per week to spend in over 30,000 shops on healthy food. Yet over 50% of eligible families don’t claim these vouchers, that’s over 200,000 people.

 

What can I get with the vouchers?

  • Fresh, frozen or tinned fruit and vegetables
  • Fresh, dried, and tinned pulses
  • Cow’s milk and Infant formula milk
  • Free healthy start vitamins which include pregnancy vitamins, breastfeeding vitamins and vitamins for children from birth to 4 years old
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Where can I use the vouchers?

You can use your Healthy Start vouchers in any shop that is registered to take part in the scheme. If a retailer is not on this list, please ask the retailer if they can accept vouchers directly.

 

Who is eligible for Healthy Start Vouchers (HSV)?

 

If you live in England, NI and Wales, use a 2-minute eligibility calculator from the NHS to find out if you’re eligible for the scheme. 

 

If you live in Scotland, you can get help from Best Start Foods instead.

 

How do I apply?

It’s quick and easy. You can now apply online and you’ll find out whether your application has been successful or not in about 3 minutes: Apply-for-healthy-start.

 

When is the scheme going digital and paper vouchers phased out?

Families currently receive paper vouchers by post. However the scheme is being digitised and vouchers replaced with a pre-paid card (Mastercard). Cards can be used at any shop that accepts chip and pin payment from now, with the vouchers phased out from March 2022.

 

For more information and resources visit: endchildfoodpoverty.org

 

About the author

Stephanie Douglas

Stephanie joined Veg Power in 2019 as project coordinator for the Eat Them To Defeat Them schools' programme. Stephanie has recently changed roles and now manages Veg Power's influencer network. In addition to working at Veg Power, Stephanie is currently writing a dissertation on the barriers of fruit and vegetable consumption in lower income families.

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