How to get up to £442 worth of free food per child using Healthy Start vouchers

PARENTS can get up to £442 worth of free food over the year using their Healthy Start vouchers.

The state-backed coupons help low-income families with small children with the cost of milk, vegetables, fruit, pulses and vitamins.

The vouchers are currently worth £4.25 each after the value was raised last April.

Families that qualify for the Healthy Start scheme get one or two vouchers per week, per child, depending how old each child is.

If you have a child that's younger than 12-months-old, you get two vouchers each week.

That means in the first year of your child's life you could get £442.

Pregnant women getone voucher a week, and parents also get one voucher for each child between one and four.

That means they would get at least £221 in a year.

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Footballer and campaigner against child food poverty Marcus Rashford MBE welcomed the move to increase the voucher value last April.

He said: "This was one of our Taskforce’s key asks and will make a huge difference to the most vulnerable people in our communities."

He is urging families that need that extra support to sign up to the government’s scheme.

Who is eligible to receive Healthy Start vouchers?

To qualify for the voucher scheme you need to be more than 10 weeks pregnant or have at least one child under four.

You also need to receive one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit with a family income of £16,190 or less per year
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit with no earned income or total earned income of £408 or less per month for the family.

But if you are under 18 and pregnant you can get the vouchers, even if you don’t get any of those benefits.

How can I apply for Healthy Start vouchers?

To apply, you just need to download an application form from the Healthy Start website, print it off, fill it in and send it to: 

Freepost RRTR-SYAE-JKCR, Healthy Start Issuing Unit, PO Box 1067, Warrington, WA55 1EG.

If you don’t have a printer, you can call the Healthy Start helpline on 0345 607 6823 and get a form sent to you. 

Once your application is approved, you’ll have the vouchers posted out to you every four weeks.

The vouchers can be spent in supermarkets, corner shops, greengrocers, market stalls, pharmacies, food co-ops and milk floats or vans.

You can find your nearest shops that accept the coupons using the Healthy Start tool on the website.

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