As more families feel the strain of cost-of-living pressures, the County Council is urging eligible people to use the Healthy Start scheme.
As of 2nd November, almost 1,500 families who qualify for Healthy Start in Nottinghamshire are currently missing out on free fruit, vegetables and milk.
Healthy Start offers funds worth £4.25 a week to women who are more than 10 weeks’ pregnant or have children under four who are in low-income families, as well as to all pregnant women under 18. Eligible families with a baby under the age of one receive £8.50 a week.
Funds can be used to buy:
- Plain liquid cow’s milk
- Fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables
- Fresh, dried, and tinned pulses
- Infant formula if you’re not breastfeeding.
Councillor Matt Barney, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “We know things are tough for families right now, so we’re urging more people to make use of this fantastic scheme.
“We want to give every child the best start in life. Good nutrition is so important in those early years and Healthy Start can help families access healthy food, as well as reduce the pressure on their household budgets.
“Almost 1,500 families who could use the scheme in Notts are currently missing out. So please check to see if you’re eligible and let your friends and families know about the scheme too.”
If you’re eligible, you’ll be sent a Healthy Start card with money on it that you can use in any shop that accepts Mastercard®. Benefits will be added onto the card every four weeks.
You can also use your card to collect:
- Free Healthy Start vitamins – for during pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Free vitamin drops for babies and young children up to four years old.
Vitamins are available from many of the County Council’s Children’s Centres (visit https://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/care/early-years-and-childcare/childrens-centre-service for details).
To find out if you’re eligible for Health Start, please visit https://services.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/apply-for-healthy-start/.