Families should move to Best Start Foods

Healthy Start vouchers stop issuing in Scotland on 31 March.

Families who get Healthy Start vouchers must ensure they move to Best Start Foods before the vouchers stop on Tuesday 31 March 2020 to continue to receive support.

The new Best Start Foods payment card replaced the UK Government’s Healthy Start vouchers last summer. The payment card works in the same way as a bank card, and can be used to buy a variety of foods in any shop that takes card payments.

Eligible families on low income benefits get £17.00 every four weeks for any children between one and three years old and during pregnancy. For babies up to the age of one, the payment increases to £34.00.

Between 12 August and 31 December last year almost 18,000 families were issued with a Best Start Foods payment card. These include people applying for the first time, as well as existing Healthy Start voucher users who have already made the move to Best Start Foods.

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“Almost 18,000 families in Scotland are getting Best Start Foods payments helping them access healthy foods for their children they may otherwise struggle to afford.

“But with UK Healthy Start vouchers stopping in Scotland at the end of this month we don’t want families missing out on any money they are entitled to. So if people currently get Healthy Start vouchers, and have not yet made the move to the new system, we would urge them to apply for Best Start Foods as soon as possible.

“We want people to access all the benefits they are entitled to, so when people apply for Best Start Foods, we use a single application process to check if families are also eligible for any of the three Best Start Grants. This ensures families are getting all the financial support available.”


The card can be used to buy fresh eggs, milk, (plain cow’s milk and first infant formula), fruit and vegetables fresh, frozen or tinned, pulses (peas, lentils and beans - dried, fresh, frozen or tinned)

Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods: high level statistics to 31 December 2019

More information can be found at mygov.scot/benefits or by calling 0800 182 2222


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