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Veg by Isobel 

Scheme should help families access a healthy diet                         (Pic by Isobel Graham)

 

Low-income families with young children will receive increased payments, digital smartcards and access to a wider range of foods, under new proposals.

The Scottish Government is consulting on plans to reshape the Welfare Foods Scheme, which aims to help families access a healthy diet.

The plans include changing from paper Healthy Start food vouchers to smartcards for easier use and to reduce stigma, as well as cutting the administration involved for retailers. Families’ allowances would rise from £3.10 to £4.25 a week, and from £899 to £1,011 in total over the period they receive support.

The range of foods covered by the system will also expand, while it is proposed to add a healthy snack to the free milk children receive at nurseries.

Central to our aim of improving Scotland’s health and tackling inequality is ensuring everyone can have a healthy diet, especially families with young children. There is strong evidence that diet impacts on children’s health, their ability to learn and their life chances as they grow up.

For too many families, poverty and deprivation are daily barriers to eating healthily.

Our plans set out how we can further support families to make healthier choices, ensure the system is as easy as possible to use, while reducing stigma and increasing take-up.

The proposals have been warmly welcomed by First Steps Nutrition Trust, concerned that far too many parents with young children skip meals to feed their children.

The consultation opened yesterday and runs until June 28. Take part at: https://consult.gov.scot/health-protection/welfare-foods/?_ga=2.256888011.1164638773.1523006904-1937055418.1521465384

 

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Aileen Campbell MSP, Kirkton Chambers, 12 Kirkton Street, Carluke ML8 4AB • 01555 750 249 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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