Sainsbury’s is giving £2 top-up coupons for the NHS Healthy Start program, which is paid for by the government, to people in Wales and Northern Ireland for the first time.
Until April 11, customers who shop at Sainsbury’s and use their Healthy Start card at checkout will get a $2 printed coupon every week they shop there.
The coupon can be used to buy fresh, frozen, or canned fruit and vegetables, making healthy food more affordable for families.
Sainsbury’s has said that for the first time, its £2 top-up coupon for the government-funded NHS Healthy Start program will be made available in Wales and Northern Ireland. The change was made because the cost of living keeps going up, and extending the coupons could help feed an extra 47,000 pregnant women and children over the next few months.
The roll-out comes after Sainsbury’s said last month that it would bring back its £2 coupon for Healthy Start card holders in England over the next six months.
The NHS Healthy Start program helps pregnant women, babies, and young children under the age of 4 from low-income families eat better.
Customers in Wales and Northern Ireland who use a Healthy Start card at Sainsbury’s will now get a $2 coupon in the mail every week until Tuesday, April 11, 2023. The coupon can be used to buy fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and vegetables.
Low-income families can get Healthy Start cards from the government. These cards give pregnant women or families with a child between the ages of 1 and 4 £4.25 a week to spend on milk, fruit, or vegetables. Each week, £8.50 will be given to families with a child under the age of 1. With Sainsbury’s top-up, families who use their Healthy Start card every week at a Sainsbury’s superstore can get either £6.25 or £10.50 worth of healthy and nutritious food.
The £2 top-up coupon was first given out by Sainsbury’s in 2021. It helped families during February half term and beyond. The coupon was then brought back last Christmas to help people who were having a hard time during the holidays.
Ruth Cranston, Director of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at Sainsbury’s, said, “We know how hard things are right now, and as the cost of living continues to rise, we’re committed to making sure that everyone has access to affordable, healthy food.” We are very happy that we can give eligible customers in Wales and Northern Ireland an extra £2 as part of the NHS Healthy Start program. We hope that the extra coupon will help a lot of people in the coming months. Through our community program Nourish the Nation, we are still committed to helping fight food insecurity now and in the future.
Rebecca Tobi, who works for the Food Foundation as a Senior Business and Investor Engagement Manager, said, “Many families are really struggling right now as the cost of living keeps going up. Our most recent tracking of data in the UK shows that one in four households with children have not had enough food in the last month. This affects four million children who live in these households.
“Sainsbury’s decision to offer coupons to families in Wales and Northern Ireland will help reduce health disparities by making sure that all Healthy Start recipients are eligible for the £2 top-up. We know that good nutrition in the first few years of life is important for healthy growth and development, so it would be great if other stores followed Sainsbury’s lead and did more to support the Healthy Start scheme.
The move comes after Sainsbury’s announced its new Nourish the Nation program last week. The long-term goal of the program is to help communities get food now and in the future, working with Comic Relief, a longtime charity partner.
As part of the program, Sainsbury’s will give $3 million to help communities get food now and fund projects that keep people and communities from falling further into food poverty in the future. This includes giving £1.5 million to Comic Relief, FareShare, and other key redistribution partners as a Christmas gift to help communities.
From November 23 to December 24, the store is also asking customers to donate if they can when they shop in-store at Sainsbury’s and Argos, online at Sainsbury’s, or by donating Nectar points on the Nectar app or website. Up to £1.5 million, Sainsbury’s will match all donations. Customers can also give food to local food charities at food donation points in some Sainsbury’s stores.
*As of March 2022, the most recent numbers of people who are eligible to get help in Wales and Northern Ireland are:
Full eligibility rules can be found here: https://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/frequently-asked-questions/ *** Superstores, not convenience stores, are the places that print coupons. But coupons can be used at both large stores and small stores.
The Department of Health and Social Care pays the NHS Business Services Authority to run the NHS Healthy Start scheme.