Residents of Wigan urged to check eligibility for Food Scheme Vouchers


In the borough of Wigan, 28% of Healthy Start vouchers go unclaimed, meaning around £3,702 of healthy food does not reach those who need it.

Citizens Advice Wigan Borough is encouraging residents to check if they meet the criteria to claim these vouchers, especially as many are struggling financially due to the cost of living crisis.

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The NHS Healthy Start program aims to support people who are pregnant or caring for at least one child under four, who are on an eligible benefit and on low income.

Beneficiaries will receive a Healthy Start card that can be used in select UK stores, with money added to the card every four weeks.

They will receive £4.25 per week of pregnancy from week 10, £8.50 per week for children from birth to one year old and £4.25 per week for children between one and four years old.

The card can be used to purchase certain types of milk, infant formula, fruits and vegetables. .

With rising energy prices and other bills, the latest data from the Food Foundation shows a 57% increase in the proportion of households cutting back on their diet or missing meals altogether in just three months, with further increases predicted food insecurity.

Lisa Kidston, chief executive of Citizens Advice Wigan Borough, said: ‘With the cost of living crisis squeezing families’ finances on all sides, it’s really important that residents receive all the income and benefits to which they are entitled. .

Voucher usage is not as high as it should be and many eligible families lack vital support.

“We really urge families to claim these free food stamps if they are eligible.

“With the shift from paper vouchers to digital registration and a prepaid card, some may experience difficulty registering for the system.

“Our services are there to help anyone who needs help finding out what they are entitled to, and those who are having trouble enrolling in the program.”

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