How to get free fruit from supermarkets including Iceland, Tesco and Aldi | The Sun09/06/2022
PARENTS with young children may qualify for help to get free fruit and other food from supermarkets through a little-known scheme.
Healthy Start offers people who are more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four money to help them buy healthy food and milk.
Iceland is already part of the scheme, but has now teamed up with Del Monte to promote the scheme on frozen fruit and help more parents.
It comes after the supermarket chain plastered the scheme on its milk bottles earlier this year.
It will come as good news for households struggling through the cost of living crisis, after food and fuel prices soared in recent months.
But it's estimated that around 130,000 people are missing out on the NHS Healthy Start scheme even though they are eligible.
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It's not just fruit and milk parents can get to help feed their kids either.
And Iceland isn't the only supermarket to support the scheme, with big names like Tesco, Asda and Aldi also offering the freebies too.
Those eligible could be better off by up to £442 a year. Here we explain who's eligible for the help and how to get it.
What is the Healthy Start scheme?
The Healthy Start scheme is designed to help upcoming or new parents pay for healthy food and milk.
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It used to be that people were offered vouchers to redeem at a number of supermarkets and grocers, including Tesco, Iceland and Aldi.
However, now pre-paid cards are offered out which can be used at any location that accepts Mastercard.
What you'll get depends on your circumstances.
You'll get £4.25 per week for pregnant women (from the 10th week of pregnancy).
This goes up to £8.50 per week for babies from birth to one-year-old.
You get £4.25 per week for children aged between one and four.
You can use the card to buy a variety of items including:
- plain liquid cow’s milk
- fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables
- fresh, dried, and tinned pulses
- infant formula milk based on cow’s milk
You can also use your card to collect vitamins for babies and children up to four.
Who is eligible for the scheme and how can I apply?
The scheme is not open to all new parents or pregnant women.
You must be on certain benefits to be eligible, including:
- Child Tax Credit (only if your family’s annual income is £16,190 or less)
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Pension Credit (which includes the child addition)
- Universal Credit (only if your family’s take-home pay is £408 or less per month from employment)
- Working Tax Credits run-on (which is paid for four weeks if your working hours or your partner or carer's, go to less than 16 hours per week)
You will also be eligible for Healthy Start if:
- you’re under 18 and pregnant, even if you are not claiming any benefits
- you claim income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and are over 10 weeks pregnant
- you, your partner or your carer get Working Tax Credit run-on only after you have reported you’re working 16 hours or less per week
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You can apply via email or phone on [email protected] or 0300 330 7010. You can also apply online.
To complete the application, you'll need your name, address, date of birth, National Insurance (NI) number, baby's due date (if you're pregnant) and a benefit aware letter, if you're over 18.
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