Increase Healthy Start food and formula vouchers in line with inflation

NHS Healthy Start food and formula vouchers are an essential way of ensuring the neediest babies, children and pregnant people get the nutrients they need.

But with inflation sending the price of fruit, vegetables and infant formula soaring, many families will struggle even more to get by. Some brands of infant formula have risen in price by as much as 14% in recent months.

Eligible families with a baby under the age of one receive £8.50 a week in Healthy Start vouchers, which they can spend on milk, fruit, vegetables and infant formula. But £8.50 of vouchers now won’t even buy a single tin of most infant formula brands, and the amount of fruit and vegetables it is possible to buy has shrunk too.

The inflation crisis will cause a hunger crisis. We’ve already seen reports from food banks of needy families serving their children smaller portions or even watering down babies’ milk, which can be incredibly dangerous.

The Government last raised the value of Healthy Start vouchers before the cost-of-living crisis hit, and only did so after incredible pressure from Marcus Rashford, food charities and the co-operative movement.

We need to speak out again: the Government must raise the value of Healthy Start vouchers in line with inflation, so that the babies, children and pregnant people who need it most don’t go hungry.

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Promoted by Joe Fortune on behalf of the Co-operative Party, both at Unit 13, 83 Crampton Street, London, SE17 3BQ, United Kingdom.Co-operative Party Limited is a registered Society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014. Registered no. 30027R