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Low-income families urged to check whether they could get help to buy food and milk

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Almost 200 low-income families in the Stroud district are missing out on financial support which would help them buy healthy food, milk and vitamins.

The NHS Healthy Start scheme is available to people who are more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four and receive qualifying benefits, and anyone who is under 18 and more than 10 weeks pregnant.

It can be used to buy fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables, fresh, dried and tinned pulses, plain cow’s milk and infant formula. Healthy Start vitamins for pregnant and breastfeeding women and vitamin drops for children under four years old are also included in the scheme.

According to data 187 people in the Stroud district that are eligible for the scheme have not applied.

You can find out if you are eligible on the NHS Healthy Start website www.healthystart.nhs.uk or by emailing healthy.start@nhsbsa.nhs.uk or phoning 0300 330 7010.

Successful applicants will receive a discreet, prepaid card which can be used in any shop that sells healthy food and accepts Mastercard.

The card will be topped up every four weeks to a value of:

  • £4.25 each week of your pregnancy from the 10th week
  • £8.50 each week for children from birth to one year old
  • £4.25 each week for children between one and four years old

Cllr Beki Aldam, chair of Stroud District Council Community Services & Licensing Committee said: “I encourage all parents who could be eligible to apply for the Healthy Start scheme which could make a big difference to your family’s budget.

“It would be helpful if organisations that work with low-income families could help by identifying those who could be missing out and encouraging them to apply.”

Cllr Trevor Hall, Vice Chair added: “If you’re not eligible for the Healthy Start scheme there is information and other sources of support on the Stroud District Council website that could help you or someone you know at www.stroud.gov.uk/costofliving “

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