Make the most of Healthy Start Scheme

Families in Plymouth are being encouraged to check their eligibility for the government’s Healthy Start Scheme.

The Healthy Start Scheme offers vouchers to low-income families which can be used to buy fruit, vegetables, milk and vitamins.

Many families will have had a change in financial circumstances due to COVID-19 and may now be eligible for the scheme.

Women who are at least 10 weeks pregnant and families with children under four years old qualify for Healthy Start if the family is receiving:

  • Income Support, or
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or
  • Child Tax Credit (with a family income of £16,190 or less per year)
  • Universal Credit (with a family take home pay of £408 or less per month) 

Only 58 per cent of eligible households in Plymouth are currently using the scheme, those not claiming could be missing out on around £50 a month to spend on food

Councillor Jemima Laing, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said: “We know that here in Plymouth there are many families who are eligible for this scheme who have not yet taken it up.

“I encourage all parents and parents-to-be to check their eligibility online. Finances are more uncertain than ever during this period and having access to free fresh produce will make a huge difference to families.”

You can find out all about the scheme on their website, and you can check for providers near you here.

Follow Plymouth Healthy Start on Facebook and Twitter for information about the scheme and how to access vouchers.

New providers have recently joined the scheme, including Joe Browns Fruit and Veg and Nearly Naked Veg, who will accept vouchers in exchange for doorstep fruit and veg box deliveries.

And it is now even easier to apply for the scheme as a health professional signature is no longer required.