Joint letter to Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Healthy Start vouchers
June 4, 2019
The Healthy Start scheme provides young and low-income pregnant women, and families on a low income with children under 4 years old, with a voucher for £3.10 per week (or two vouchers for an infant) to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables, cows’ milk and first infant formula.
According to data from the Healthy Start Issuing Unit, average take-up of the vouchers was only 64% in England and Wales in 2018. As a result families, including children and pregnant women, missed out on an estimated £28.6 million worth of vouchers.
The Food Ethics Council was one of 27 signatories on a letter addressed to Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, calling on the Government to fund a national programme to ensure that midwives, health visitors, GPs and other relevant staff in health, social care and early years settings actively help all eligible pregnant women and new parents claim their Heathy Start vouchers.
In addition there is a call for the Government to invest last year’s underspend of £28.6 million into making sure no families miss out on this vital support next year.
Write to your MP about Healthy Start here.
Read coverage of the letter in the Huffington Post here.