NHS Healthy Start Scheme

Get help towards the cost of healthy foods and milk

At Lidl, we're proud to participate in the NHS Healthy Start scheme which offers parents and child carers on low incomes help towards the cost of fruit, veg, pulses and milk.

If you’re eligible for the scheme, you’ll receive a prepaid card topped up automatically every 4 weeks. The programme runs in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, with Healthy Start cards redeemable in all of our stores.

In January 2021 we became the first retailer to increase the value of Healthy Start vouchers to the new government level of £4.25. This £1m investment ran until the new government level was introduced in April.

In Scotland, parents on low incomes can access similar support through the Best Start programme. Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods are payments that help towards the costs of being pregnant or looking after a child. Find out more information here: www.mygov.scot/best-start-grant-best-start-foods.

FAQs

What is healthy start

What is Healthy Start?

The NHS Healthy Start scheme aims to help people who are pregnant or have responsibility for at least one child under 4 years old, and are on a qualifying benefit or a low income, to pay for healthy food. The programme runs in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

The prepaid card is intended to supplement your food shop, helping you to buy healthy products such as:

  • cow’s milk
  • fresh, frozen, or tinned fruit and vegetables
  • infant formula milk
  • fresh, dried, and tinned pulses

You can also use your prepaid card to collect free NHS Healthy Start vitamins.

Qualify for Healthy Start

I live in Scotland. Can I access help to buy healthy foods?

If you live in Scotland, help is available through the Best Start scheme. Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods are payments that go towards the costs of being pregnant or looking after a child.

Find out more information at www.mygov.scot/best-start-grant-best-start-foods.

 

Healthy start how much will i receive

How much could I receive from the Healthy Start scheme?

You’ll get:

  • £4.25 each week of your pregnancy (starting from the 10th week of your pregnancy)
  • £8.50 each week for children from birth to 1 year old
  • £4.25 each week for children between 1 and 4 years old
Healthy start card

Once I have my prepaid card, how do I use it?

After finishing your shop, head to the till and simply put your prepaid card into the card reader or use its contactless feature - our employees are on hand if you need any help.

When you make your first transaction, you’ll need to insert your card into the card reader and enter your PIN.

NHS Healthy Start

How do I know if I qualify for the NHS Healthy Start prepaid card?

Find out if you are eligible to receive the NHS Healthy Start prepaid card by visiting www.healthystart.nhs.uk.

If you’re accepted onto the scheme, you should receive your card in the post. You’ll then need to call 0300 330 2090 to activate your prepaid card and get your PIN.

 

Can I still use my Healthy Start vouchers?

Can I still use my Healthy Start vouchers?

NHS Healthy Start paper vouchers have now been replaced by a new prepaid card.  To continue receiving help to buy healthy essentials, apply online for a prepaid card at www.healthystart.nhs.uk.

Lidl stores will continue to accept Healthy Start paper vouchers until they expire. The last paper vouchers expired on 24th April 2022.