Sainsbury’s shoppers can get extra cash to spend on their food through a special scheme to help struggling parents.
Customers who are part of the Healthy Start program will receive an additional £2 top-up voucher every week for a limited time. The extra money can be used to cover the cost of fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables.
To get the £2 top-up you need to be registered with the Healthy Start food voucher scheme, which is run by the NHS. You currently receive £4.25 a week loaded onto a Healthy Start card. If you have a child under the age of one, you could get two vouchers per week.
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Sainsbury’s will provide an additional £2 voucher each week for the next six months, up to £52 worth of vouchers. Sainsbury’s reloading will take place from this Wednesday 12 October to Tuesday 11 April.
The supermarket first introduced the £2 top-up voucher in 2021, helping families through the February half term, reports The Mirror. The coupon was then reintroduced throughout the winter to provide additional help for those who might have difficulty over the Christmas period.
Ruth Cranston, director of corporate responsibility and sustainability at Sainsbury’s, said: “We know times are tough for millions of families across the country and the rising cost of living is causing uncertainty for many of our customers, so today we announced that we will be completing the government-funded £2 NHS Healthy Start scheme for the third time.
“As part of our Helping Everyone Eat Better brand promise, we believe that everyone deserves to eat well, and the cost of healthy food shouldn’t be a barrier to that.” We hope that this additional support will ensure access to good quality food. for everyone.”
Who can benefit from the Healthy Start program?
You may be eligible to use the Healthy Start diet if you are more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4 years old. You must apply for certain benefits to qualify. This includes:
- Child tax credit (only if your annual family income is £16,190 or less)
- Income support
- Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Pension credit (which includes the addition of the child)
- Universal Credit (only if your family take-home pay is £408 or less per month from employment)
- Income-related employment and support allowance (but only if you are more than 10 weeks pregnant)
- Work tax credit (this is the work tax credit you receive in the four weeks immediately following the absence from work of 16 hours or more per week)
Or, if you are under 18 and over 10 weeks pregnant, you will receive Healthy Start vouchers until your baby is born, whether or not you apply for benefits. Previously, parents received paper vouchers, but anyone who applies now will receive a physical card instead.
Only certain products can be purchased with Healthy Start vouchers, including:
- Cow milk
- Fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables
- Mother’s milk
- Fresh, dried and canned legumes
- Free vitamins
You should also check where they can be spent, as not all stores accept Healthy Start vouchers. Some of the better known retailers that accept them include Aldi, Lidl, Asda, Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
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