Best Start Foods: evaluation

Findings from the evaluation of Best Start Foods.

This document is part of a collection


1. Scottish Government (2022) Best start, bright futures: tackling child poverty delivery plan 2022-2026.

2. Scottish Government 2022: Best Start, Bright Futures: tackling child poverty delivery plan

3. Scottish Government 2018: A healthier future: Scotland's diet and healthy weight delivery plan.

4. Scottish Government 2019: Scottish Health Survey 2019.

5. Scottish Government (2021): Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods: Who should apply.

6. Scottish Government (2019) Devolved benefits: evaluating the policy impact

7. Scottish Government (2022) Social security policy research and evaluation: publications

8. The Scottish Government had a moratorium on face-to-face research at this time due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

9. Applicants make a joint application for Best Start Foods, Best Start Grant, and sometimes also Scottish Child Payment, without stating which of these specific benefit(s) they are applying for. Social Security Scotland determines which of the benefits applicants are eligible for (if any) based on details provided on the form. Applications are estimated as being for Best Start Foods if the application form was received on or after the payment went live and it contained details of dependent children within the eligibility age range or it contained details of a pregnancy.

10. Reviews can be requested by Best Start Foods applicants who have had their application denied, but disagree with the decision.

11. It is notable that the vast majority of those who receive Best Start Foods are women. This is to be expected – research has shown that women make up 95% of lone parents on Income Support, and provide around 70% of unpaid care of family members (Engender, 2016: Securing Women's Futures: using Scotland's social security powers to close the gender equality gap).

12. Scottish Government (2018) Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification 2016.

13. Scottish Government (2020 Scottish Index Multiple Deprivation 2020.

14. It is important to note that translation services including the use of interpreters are available through Social Security Scotland, and can be accessed by applicants throughout the application process. However, recipients participating in the commissioned research were unaware that these services were available. More information on these services can be found on the Social Security Scotland - Benefits web page.

15. Financial Year 2019-2020 includes the months from 12 August 2019 to March 2020. Financial Year 2020-2021 includes the months from April 2020 to March 2021. Financial Year 2021-2022 includes the months from April 2021 to February 2022.

16. It should be noted that applicants can submit evidence at the time of application. As such, the issue could be that this needs to be made clearer to applicants.

18. It should be noted that Allpay currently do not have an app for the card management but the website is mobile optimised, which means that it works like an app via the website.

19. Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Farmfoods, Iceland, Lidl, McColl's, Morrisons, Nisa, Premier, Sainsbury's, Scot Fresh, Spar, Tesco, local shops (including corner shops, African shops)



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