If you’re pregnant or have a child under four you could be eligible to receive Healthy Start vouchers.

Healthy Start vouchers are issued weekly and can be used to buy fresh fruit, vegetables and milk.

This important means-tested scheme provides crucial access to healthy food for those who need it most; qualifying pregnant women, babies and toddlers.

Vouchers can be spent in a wide range of outlets across Torbay including; Asda, Iceland, Farm Foods, Morrisons and selected Tesco, Lidl, Boots and Superdrug stores.

Pregnant woman and children over 1 and under 4 can get one £3.10 voucher a week. Children under 1 can get two £3.10 vouchers (£6.20) per week.

Vouchers can be spent on:

  • Plain cow’s milk – whole, semi-skimmed or skimmed. It can be pasteurised, sterilised, long life or UHT
  • Fresh, frozen and tinned fruit and vegetables including loose, pre-packed, whole, sliced, chopped or mixed fruit or vegetables, fruit in fruit juice, or fruit or vegetables in water, but not those to which fat, salt, sugar or flavouring have been added
  • Fresh, dried and tinned pulses, including but not limited to lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas but not those to which fat, salt, sugar or flavouring have been added
  • Infant formula milk that says it can be used from birth and is based on cow’s milk

To qualify for Healthy Start vouchers you need to be at least 10-weeks pregnant or have a child under four years old and are in receipt of any of the following:

  • Child Tax Credit (but only if your family income is £16,190 or less)
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit (but only if your family earns £408 or less per month from employment)
  • Working Tax Credit (but only if your family is receiving the 4-week ‘run-on’ payment)

You’ll also be eligible for the Healthy Start scheme if you’re pregnant and under 18, even if you do not receive any benefits.

Cllr Cordelia Law, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Torbay Council, said; “Recently the take up of Healthy Start Vouchers has fallen, with only around half of those entitled to claim the vouchers doing so. This could be due to lack of awareness, or the reduced signposting opportunities through Parent and Baby groups which have been closed due to the pandemic.

We want to encourage all those that qualify to apply today, applying is easy and no longer requires the signature of health professional”.

Women and children getting Healthy Start food vouchers also get vitamin coupons to swap for free Healthy Start vitamins which are specifically designed for pregnant and breastfeeding women and growing children.

For more information and to make an application visit: www.healthystart.nhs.uk

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