SHOPPERS using Healthy Start vouchers can get up to £20 of free food from Sainsbury's over the summer.
The supermarket will top up the coupons which parents can use for buying fruit and veg with an extra £2.
The Healthy Start vouchers are designed to support families on low incomes and are worth £4.25 a week – or double that for parents eligible for two vouchers a week.
Sainsbury's will bump that up to £6.25 in total, by offering a £2 coupon for anyone who uses a Healthy Start voucher at the checkout.
The extra £2 is available until August 17 and can be used to buy fresh and frozen fruit and veg in customers' next shop.
That means for those getting two vouchers a week it could add up to and extra £20 over the summer.
Healthy start vouchers are dished out by the government to families and soon-to-be mums who are on low incomes or certain benefits.
They can be used to buy either plain cow’s milk, plain fresh or frozen vegetables and infant formula.
The £2 top up voucher from Sainsbury's can only be used on fruit and veg though.
The coupons will be automatically generated at the till when the Healthy Start voucher is scanned in.
The vouchers need to be redeemed within two weeks of the date they are received and August 17 is the last day you can get them, and August 31 the last day for using it up.
The top up is available at 552 Sainsbury's stores in England – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have different schemes to support low-income families.
To get Healthy Start vouchers, you must be pregnant or have a child under the age of four and receive any of these benefits:
- child tax credits (if your family’s annual income is £16,190)
- income-related employment and support allowance
- income support
- income-based jobseeker’s allowance
- pension credit
- universal credit (but only if your family earns £408 or less per month from employment)
- working tax credits (but only if your family is receiving the 4 week ‘run-on’ payment)
Parents with kids under one year old can get two vouchers each week.
The vouchers can be spent in supermarkets, corner shops, greengrocers, market stalls, pharmacies, food co-ops and milk floats or vans.
Sainsbury's also topped up the vouchers earlier this year with £2, which is one of the biggest bonuses
Other supermarkets have previously topped up the vouchers too, and Southern Co-op stores are currently adding £1, so it's worth checking different stores if you can.
You can find your nearest shops that accept them using the Healthy Start tool on its website.
You can apply for the vouchers by getting a form from the Healthy Start website.
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