Marcus Rashford's family speak about difficult childhood
Healthy Start vouchers can be issued to those who are pregnant or have a child who is under four. These vouchers are awarded to those who are on a low income and receive certain benefits.
The claimant and/or their family must be receiving at least one of the following:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credit with a family income of £16,190 or less per year
- Pension Credit; or
- Universal Credit with no earned income or total earned income of £408 or less per month for the family.
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Pregnant women and children aged between one and four can get one £3.10 voucher per week, with children aged under one being able to get two £3.10 vouchers.
These vouchers can then be spent on various healthy food items including vegetables, fruits, milks and formula.
The vouchers can be used in a number of outlets from supermarkets to pharmacies and today, Lidl has announced they will be the first retailer to increase the value of Healthy Start vouchers by more than one-third to support low-income families.
They will be increasing the value of these vouchers to £4.25, with their investment supported by the Child Poverty Task Force, formed and spearheaded by Marcus Rashford MBE, of which Lidl is a member.
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This boost will last from today until the end of March 2021, with Lidl topping up the value of the existing Healthy start vouchers by £1.15.
Lidl committed to this plan with a £1million investment to “plug the gap” between January 2021 and the planned government increase in the value of the vouchers to £4.25 in April 2021.
Lidl GB CEO Christian Härtnagel welcomed the announcement with the following comments: “At Lidl, we know that it has been a challenging year for families and budgets are tight. We all have a role to play within the community and we are committed to helping these families in any way we can.
“This is why we have decided to bring forward the planned increase to the value of the Healthy Start vouchers across all our stores in England and Wales.
“We hope that it will enable parents up and down the country to access more healthy essentials to help feed their children.”
Additionally, Marcus Rashford MBE had the following to say: “I’m delighted that Lidl has made such a positive move and committed to increasing the value of Healthy Start vouchers.
“This was one of our Taskforce’s key asks and will make a huge difference to the most vulnerable people in our communities.
“We were thrilled when the government committed to increasing the value of Healthy Start vouchers from April next year, however there is an urgent need to act now.
“Lidl’s decision to take action and support families and those in need further demonstrates what can be achieved when we work together.
“I would encourage all parents and families that need that extra support to sign up to the government’s scheme.”
To apply for the couchers initially, claimants will need to get a Healthy Start leaflet from either their midwife or health visitor, calling the Healthy Start helpline, or filling an online form which can be found on the Healthy Start website.
To find out where the vouchers can be used, claimants can head to the Healthy Start website and enter their postcode, with the site then showing all the applicable retailers near them.
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