// Co-op is adding £1 on to Healthy Start vouchers to bring total to £4.10
// Move comes as government agrees to raise vouchers to £4.25 from April 2021 thanks to campaigning from Child Food Poverty Task Force
Co-op has announced it will top up the value of the government’s Healthy Start vouchers by an additional £1, in support of Marcus Rashford MBE’s Child Food Poverty Task Force.
Healthy Start vouchers can be used to buy vital food and essentials such as milk, fresh, frozen and tinned fruit and vegetables, fresh, dried and tinned pulses and first-stage infant formula.
From this week, customers looking to redeem a voucher in any Co-op store in England, Wales or Northern Ireland will be able to exchange the items up to the value of £4.10, instead of £3.10.
The move comes after the government last month agreed to raise the base value of the vouchers to £4.25 from April 2021.
“Co-op is committed to ensuring that everyone, including children have access to the nutritious food they need in order to thrive. Food poverty has risen at an alarming rate this year and sadly, this is impacting the health of the communities we serve, which is why we felt it was so important to add value to the current Healthy Start scheme,” Co-op Food chief executive Jo Whitfield said.
“It is our sincere hope that this additional £1 will encourage more people to use the scheme, and we welcome the government’s plans to boost voucher values in 2021. Alongside our counterparts in the Child Food Poverty Task Force we are serious about prompting meaningful change as eating a healthy balanced diet is a critical part of a young person’s development,” Whitfield added.
In June, football player Marcus Rashford made headlines after he successfully lobbied the government to provide free school meal vouchers to pupils over the summer holidays.
Since then, the Manchester United and England striker has teamed up with grocers and food suppliers to form the Child Food Poverty Task Force.