Parents in East Sussex are missing out on financial support
and live on Freeview channel 276
Women who are over 10 weeks pregnant as well as families with a child under four and who are in receipt of certain benefits can apply for the scheme.
Darrell Gale, East Sussex Director of Public Health, said: “The NHS Healthy Start scheme supports young families and those who are pregnant to access healthy food, milk and vitamins. Good nutrition is very important for pregnant women and young children and the scheme helps families to make healthy food choices. I would urge pregnant women and families with children under four to check their eligibility for this handy prepaid card.”
It is estimated that over 1400 eligible families in East Sussex are missing out on at least £320,000 of available funding every year. Annual funding of at least £85,000 is estimated to be going unclaimed by families in Hastings, and eligible families in Wealden are missing out on £71,000 every year.
Parents in Rother and Lewes are failing to claim at least £46,000 and £48,000 respectively each year, while in Eastbourne there is an estimated £68,000 available for those who qualify.
Pregnant women will receive £4.25 each week of their pregnancy, from the tenth week. Families with young children will get £8.50 each week for children from birth to one-year-old, and £4.25 each week for children between one and four-years-old.
People who qualify for help will be sent a Healthy Start card with money loaded on it that can be used in shops such as supermarkets, convenience stores, petrol stations, and pharmacies that display the Mastercard® symbol and sell healthy food and milk. The card is topped up automatically once a month.
The funds can be used to buy plain liquid cow’s milk; fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables; fresh, dried, and tinned pulses; and infant formula milk based on cow’s milk. It can also be used get Healthy Start women’s vitamin tablets and children’s vitamin drops for free.
For more information on Healthy Start and details of how to apply visit healthystart.nhs.uk.