Croydon parents and carers who currently 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 31 March.
Croydon Council is asking parents to look out for their NHS letter with information about applying for the new digital prepaid card, which will replace the current paper vouchers.
All existing and new beneficiaries will need to apply online ASAP 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.
The card is accepted in most retail stores that sell the eligible healthy food items and displays the Mastercard® acceptance mark.
Free vitamins and food vouchers are offered as part of Healthy Start – a national 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 1 year old
- £4.25 each week for children between 1 and 4 years old
You can check the Healthy Start website to find out if you are eligible to apply for the scheme.
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.
“We are encouraging all parents and carers in Croydon who are eligible for the NHS Healthy Start’s free food and vitamins to apply online for their new digital prepaid ASAP to continue to receive their benefit. We know that schemes like these can be a lifeline for many families to feel happy and healthy and supported to give their children the best start in life.”
Councillor Janet Campbell, cabinet member for families, health and social care
Manjit Roseghini, 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 will also be reminding people to look out for their letter about these changes to the scheme so that no-one misses out on these important benefits.”