Healthy Start is a national programme that provides financial support to eligible young families and pregnant women for fruit, veg, and milk, as well as providing free vitamins.
The scheme has recently gone digital, which means you will receive a pre-paid chip and PIN Mastercard with money pre-loaded every 4 weeks instead of paper vouchers. The amount you will receive will depend on your circumstances but will be a minimum of £4.25 a week.
You will qualify for the Healthy Start scheme if you’re at least 10 weeks pregnant or you have at least one child that’s under 4.
In addition, you must be receiving any of the following:
- Child Tax Credit (if your family’s annual income is £16,190 or less).
- Income Support.
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.
- Pension Credit (which includes the child addition).
- Universal Credit (if your family’s take-home pay is £408 or less per month from employment).
You will also be eligible for Healthy Start if:
- you’re under 18 and pregnant, even if you are not claiming any benefits.
- you claim income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and are over 10 weeks pregnant.
- you, your partner or your carer get Working Tax Credit run-on, if you are working 16 hours or less per week.
The Healthy Start card can now be used at over 30,000 shops and retailers in the UK. You can use Healthy Start to buy fresh, tinned, or frozen plain fruit and veg, dried, canned, or frozen pulses, plain cows’ milk, and first infant formula.
Devon County Council is working with a number of local producers in the county who are supportive of the Healthy Start scheme by providing low-cost, high quality, local seasonal produce for Healthy Start recipients. During February and March, you may be able to receive 3 FREE Healthy Start boxes from your local supplier when you order a box through them. Details of suppliers participating are listed below, please contact them directly for more details. Residents receiving the free boxes will also receive a FREE Healthy Start information booklet including tasty recipes!
Areas covered: Axminster and surrounding areas
Collection point: Project Food, EX13 5DU
Areas covered: Exeter and Cranbrook
Collection point: St. Thomas Library, Exeter. Tuesday 12-5pm
Knights Farm Shop
To order a box please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Areas covered: Ottery St. Mary and surrounding areas
Collection point: Knights Farm Shop, EX11 1RJ
In My Back Yard CIC
Areas covered: East Devon
Collection point: Friday afternoons
Dartmoor Community Kitchen Hub
Areas covered: Bovey Tracey, Yelverton, Horrabridge, Princetown, Tavistock, Buckfastleigh, Ashburton
Collection point: From mobile grocery shops in public car parks, community centres, and local primary schools
Devon and Cornwall Food Action
To order a box please text ‘Healthy Start Box’ to 07546 917537.
Areas covered: Ivybridge, South Brent, Bere Alston, Buckland Monachorum
Collection points: From mobile grocery shops in public car parks, community centres, and local primary schools.
The Apricot Centre CIC
To order a box please email: email@example.com
Areas covered: Dartington and surrounding areas
Collection point: The Apricot Centre, Dartington, TQ9 6AA
Down Farm Market Garden Ltd.
Areas covered: Winkleigh and surrounding areas
Harvest Workers Co-op
To order a box please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Areas covered: Okehampton and surrounding areas
Collection points: The Harvest Farm Shop – Okehampton