Healthy Start to Include More Products from October

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) is welcoming the inclusion of additional products to the Healthy Start scheme in England and Wales from October.

Healthy Start is a government initiative which provides pregnant women and parents with young children, who are in receipt of qualifying benefits, Healthy Start vouchers which can be used to purchase certain products in store.

The items currently in the scope of the scheme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland include: fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, cow’s milk and infant formula suitable for use from birth.

From 1st October 2020 in England and Wales the Healthy Start scheme will be extended to include pulses and tinned fruit and vegetables.

However, this does not include products to which fat, salt, sugar or flavouring have been added. For example, pulses such as butter beans and chickpeas and fruits in their own juice or water will be allowed, but products with added flavouring or sugar such as baked beans or fruits in syrup will not.

Currently, the inclusion of additional items will not apply to Northern Ireland but ACS will provide further information for retailers once the regulations have been updated.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Local shops play a key role in feeding their communities, including providing customers with a healthy food provision with around a third of convenience retailers currently accepting Healthy Start vouchers in their stores. We want to grow this number of retailers accepting Healthy Start vouchers, and to grow the benefit that customers and retailers can get from the scheme, so we are pleased that the scheme has been extended to include a range of additional products and we are committed to continue growing the number of stores who accept Healthy Start vouchers.”

Retailers can sign up to accept vouchers and access further resources via the Healthy Start website here.

ACS has developed an animation to promote Healthy Start to retailers, and this will be updated to include the new definition of products in scope.

This entry was posted by Chloe on Mon, 28/09/2020 - 15:12