Healthy food benefit payment card launches

Monday 12th August 2019

Eligible low-income families are to be given a payment card so they can buy healthy foods for them and their children. 

Applications for the Best Start Food payment, which gives parents on certain benefits at least £17 per child a week during pregnancy and early years, open today.

The Scottish Government says replacing an earlier system of paper vouchers with a bank-style card will help reduce stigma.

Healthy foods such as milk, infant formula, fruit and vegetables, pulses and eggs can be purchased on the card.

Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick said: “This Government is committed to doing all it can to improve the health and wellbeing of children in Scotland and give them the best start in life. That means ensuring low-income families can access the healthy foods that some may otherwise struggle to afford.

“Introducing a new payment card to replace paper vouchers will enable families to access this vital support without fear of stigma.

“We have created more ways for people to apply and have combined the application process with Best Start Grant so families can apply for four different payments on a single form.

“As with all our benefits, we want to ensure that everyone who is entitled to a payment is encouraged to apply. We will work with partners including midwives and a range of other healthcare professionals to promote Best Start Foods to ensure as many families as possible know they are entitled to this support.”