Healthy Start 2

Source: Sainsbury’s

The government’s Healthy Start scheme helps pregnant women and young children have better access to fruit & veg

Sainsbury’s will be extending its £2 Healthy Start top-up coupons to Wales and Northern Ireland over the next six months as the cost of living crisis continues to rise.

The supermarket is rolling out the scheme – which it runs alongside the government-funded NHS Healthy Start scheme, helping pregnant women and young children from low-income households – to countries other than England for the first time.

Customers in Wales and Northern Ireland who use a Healthy Start card when shopping at Sainsbury’s will now automatically receive a printed coupon worth £2 every week to use towards fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables, until 11 April 2023.

The announcement follows Sainsbury’s decision last month to reintroduce the £2 coupon over the next six months to customers using a Healthy Start card in England.

It has estimated the coupon extension could help feed an additional 47,000 pregnant women and children over the coming months.

“We know how challenging things are at the moment and as the cost of living continues to rise, we’re committed to helping ensure everyone has access to affordable and nutritious food,” said Sainsbury’s director of corporate responsibility & sustainability Ruth Cranston.

“We are really pleased we can extend our £2 top-up for the NHS Healthy Start scheme to eligible customers in Wales and Northern Ireland, and hope the additional coupon will provide some relief to many people over the coming months.”

Sainsbury’s first introduced the £2 top-up coupon in 2021, helping families during February half-term in the height of the pandemic.

The coupon was then reintroduced last Christmas to provide extra help to those struggling over the festive period.

In further efforts to help tackle food poverty amid ramping inflation, Sainsbury’s also launched a ‘Nourish the Nation’ programme last week, a long-term partnership with Comic Relief to support food charity networks.