• cathybevan8

Food Justice Campaign – Help us to help low-income mums and children

As a Co-operative Party and Welsh Labour Member of the Senedd, I’m campaigning to promote the Healthy Start Voucher scheme, which is vital in helping eligible low-income families buy healthy foods like fruit and vegetables.

We want to see 100% take-up across Wales, but we need your help to spread the word. In my local area of RCT just 66% of Healthy Start vouchers have been claimed, and in my Bridgend area only 62%. This means that £6,154.00 worth of healthy food per month doesn’t reach those who really need it here alone! The picture is worse in other parts of the country.

Healthy Start is a targeted scheme for pregnant women and young children who are most at risk of food insecurity. Eligibility is income-based, and the vouchers are a critical means to increasing affordability of vital foods like fruit, vegetables, and milk that allow healthy food choices.

The Healthy Start Vouchers are currently worth £4.25 - an increase from just £3.10 (!) following Marcus Rashford’s #ENDCHILDFOODPOVERTY campaign alongside the Cooperative Party too. We are also campaigning to see a rise in line with inflation (see the link below).

Current provision allows eligible recipients to claim 1 voucher a week if they are pregnant or have a child aged between 1 and 4, and 2 vouchers a week if they have a child aged under 1.

The Co-operative Party’s Food Justice campaign has been working to raise awareness of Healthy Start Vouchers and increase uptake to 100%. We’ve launched a tool on our Food Justice Finder website, which allows people to check Healthy Start take-up levels in their area and contact their Local Authority to encourage Healthy Start Voucher promotion.

The Food Justice Finder which shows take-up in your area can be found here: www.foodjusticefinder.com/healthystart

To add your name to the Cooperative Party campaign to increase the value of Healthy Food Vouchers in line with soaring inflation, sign the petition here: Increase Healthy Food Vouchers in Line with Inflation

And if you think you may be eligible for the vouchers yourself, just follow this link: www.healthystart.nhs.uk

Plenary Exchange

During a Plenary exchange recently, I was pleased to hear the Minister confirm that Welsh Government Ministers continue to press the UK Government for an uplift to the welfare food scheme along with other possible enhancements – whilst also outlining the Welsh Government’s commitment to food justice