Parents and carers who receive free NHS Healthy Start paper vouchers to buy fruit, vegetables and vitamins for their families need to apply for the scheme’s new digital card before March 31.
All existing and new beneficiaries will need to apply online to receive their benefit at www.healthystart.nhs.uk/how-to-apply/ or risk losing their entitlements.
The prepaid card must be activated before being used.
If an applicant cannot apply online, they can apply over the telephone by contacting the NHS Healthy Start helpline on 0300 330 7010. A telephone translation service is also available.
The Healthy Start digital card can be used in the same way as the paper vouchers by presenting it to retailers to purchase fresh, frozen and tinned fruit and vegetables, fresh, dried and tinned pulses, fresh milk or formula milk and vitamins.
Free vitamins and food vouchers are offered as part of Healthy Start – a government scheme to improve the health of pregnant women and families with young children receiving certain benefits.
The scheme offers families:
- £4.25 each week of your pregnancy (from the 10th week of your pregnancy)
- £8.50 each week for children from birth to one year old
- £4.25 each week for children between one and four years old
Croydon parents with children under five can also get help and support on a range of services from the council’s Croydon Best Start. Visit their website page for more information.
Manjit Roseghini, the deputy chief nurse and director of midwifery at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, said: “The NHS Healthy Start scheme boosts the health and wellbeing of many Croydon families. It supports good nutrition during pregnancy, supports parents to provide healthy food when introducing solids to their babies at around six months and supports children to eat a greater amount and a wider variety of vegetables, fruit and milk.
“We are reminding people to look out for their letter about these changes to the scheme so that no one misses out on these important benefits.”
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