Health Start Setting

Healthy Start Get Help To Buy Food And Milk Leaflet

Shopping With Your Healthy Start Card Flyer

Southwold Primary School is keen to help and work with parents and carers make a healthy start with their children. Working in partnership with the NHS and Small Steps Big Changes, please read below to find out more about the Healthy Start Scheme.

What is Healthy Start?

The Healthy Start scheme provides a prepaid card for eligible applicants which can be used to buy healthy food and milk as well as free vitamins.

What can you buy with the card?

Fruit, vegetables and pulses (with no added ingredients)

    • Fresh, frozen or tinned
    • Whole, chopped, packaged or loose
    • Fruit in fruit juice, or fruit or vegetables in water

Plain cow’s milk

    • Pasteurised, sterilised, long-life or ultra-heat treated (UHT).

Infant formula made from cow’s milk

    • Stage one only (first infant formula)
    • Nutritionally complete

Does not include follow-on formula or milk (‘from 6 months’, or ‘from 6 to 12 months’).

The card’s value

The card will be automatically topped up every 4 weeks. The value added to the card depends on the age of the child.

    • £4.25 per week of pregnancy (from the 10th week until the baby is born)
    • £8.50 per week for children from birth to age 1
    • £4.25 per week for children aged between 1 and 4

You can use a Healthy Start card anywhere that accept Mastercard® and sells items covered by the scheme.

Where can you shop?

This includes:

    • Supermarkets
    • Convenience stores
    • Pharmacies
    • Markets
    • Food banks/clubs/pantries
    • Newsagents
    • Butchers
    • Petrol stations

The Mastercard® symbol is normally shown on the shop door or at the till. Bear in mind some retailers are not classed as food retailers and may not accept the Healthy Start card for this reason.

Eligibility & application route

Pregnant women or families who have a child under four years old receiving one or more of the following:

Applying Online

    • Universal Credit with no earned income or total earned income of
      £408 or less per month for the family
    • Child Tax Credit with a family income of £16,190 or less per year

Applying by email or phone

    • Income Support
    • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
    • Pension Credit
    • Pregnant women under 18 years old and not getting any benefits

How to apply

Applying online:

Applying by email:

Applying by telephone:

    • Calling 0300 330 7010- free from landline, mobiles may charge

If an interpreter is required, select option 2 or email:

All applicants need to provide the following information on their application form:

    • Name, address, DOB- must match exactly the details help with DWP
    • National Insurance number
    • Baby’s due date or child’s birth date
    • Benefit award code found on the benefits award letter if you’re over 18 – make sure you enter the exact details shown on your benefit award letter

Not a British citizen

No recourse to public funds

The Department of Health and Social Care agreed to temporarily extend the Healthy Start scheme to British children whose parent/guardian meet the financial eligibility criteria and are excluded from claiming public funds as a consequence of their immigration status, or their lack of immigration status.

You might be eligible for Healthy Start if all the following are true:

    • You have at least 1 British child under 4 years old
    • Your family earns £408 or less per month after tax
    • You cannot claim ‘public funds’ (benefits) – either because of your immigration status or because you do not have an immigration status

Families with no recourse to public funds due to immigration status should apply for an application form via email. Email-


If the claimant has recently become homeless they must update the records held with DWP. Any data mismatches when applying for Healthy Start to those held by DWP will result in applications being declined.

Who you need to tell when updating your details with the DWP depends on which benefits you receive. If you get more than one benefit from the government, you’ll need to report your change to more than one DWP organisation.

Reporting Changes

You can report a change of circumstances by signing in to your Universal Credit account.

Address options

They can use a ‘care of address’ including;

    • A family member or trusted friend
    • If they are staying at a hotel/hostel they can use this address
    • In exceptional circumstances they can use their local jobcentre
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