Social Security Scotland delivers fifth benefit

12 August 2019

A small child reaches to take some carrots from a shop display

Pregnant women and families with babies and children receiving certain benefits are being offered increased access to healthy foods.

The new Best Start Foods payment replaces the UK Government’s Healthy Start paper vouchers with a new payment card, and is now open for applications.

The card, which works in a similar way to bank cards, can be used to buy a variety of healthy foods including milk and infant formula, fruit and vegetables, pulses and eggs.

Eligible families on low income benefits will get £17.00 on their card every four weeks during pregnancy and for any children between one and three years old. For babies up to the age of one, the payment increases to £34.00.

Social Security Scotland Chief Executive, David Wallace said:

“The launch of Best Start Foods is another key milestone for Social Security Scotland in the delivery of our new public service.

“The new Best Start foods payment card will help low income families can access the healthy foods that some may otherwise struggle to afford.

“We have created more ways for people to apply and have combined the application process with Best Start Grant so families can apply for four different payments on a single form.

“As with all our benefits, we want to ensure that everyone who is entitled to a payment is encouraged to apply. We will work with partners including midwives and a range of other healthcare professionals to promote Best Start Foods to ensure as many families as possible know they are entitled to this support.”

Existing users of healthy Start Vouchers will be invited to apply on a phased and regional basis between August and the end of March 2020.

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