For the first time, Sainsbury’s is extending its £2 top up coupons that accompany the Government funded NHS Healthy Start scheme to Wales and Northern Ireland

  • Until 11th April, eligible customers will automatically receive a £2 printed coupon every week they shop at Sainsbury’s, whenever they check-out using their Healthy Start card
  • The coupon is valid when purchasing fresh, frozen and tinned fruit and vegetables, helping families to access affordable, nutritious food

Sainsbury’s has announced that for the first time, it will be rolling out its £2 top up coupon that accompanies the Government funded NHS Healthy Start scheme to Wales and Northern Ireland. The move comes as the cost-of-living continues to rise, as the coupon extension could to help feed an additional 47,000* pregnant women and children over the coming months.

The roll-out follows Sainsbury’s announcement last month that it would be re-introducing its £2 coupon over the next six months to customers using a Healthy Start card in England.

The NHS Healthy Start scheme helps to encourage a healthy diet for pregnant women, babies and young children under the age of four from low-income households**.

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 Tuesday 11th April 2023.

The Healthy Start cards, which are provided by the Government to low-income families, provide pregnant women or families with a child between the age of 1 and 4 years old with £4.25 a week to use when purchasing milk, fruit or vegetables. Families with a child under the age of 1 will receive £8.50 each week. Sainsbury’s top-up means that families that use their Healthy Start card each week in a Sainsbury’s superstore could receive either £6.25 or £10.50 worth of healthy and nutritious food per week.

Sainsbury’s first introduced the £2 top-up coupon in 2021, helping families during February half term and beyond. The coupon was then reintroduced last Christmas to provide extra help to those struggling over the festive period.

Ruth Cranston, Director of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability at Sainsbury’s said, “We know how challenging things are at the moment and as the cost-of-living continues to rise, we’re committed to helping ensure that everyone has access to affordable and nutritious food. 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. Through our Nourish the Nation community programme, we remain dedicated to helping tackle food insecurity now and in the future.”

Rebecca Tobi, Senior Business and Investor Engagement Manager at the Food Foundation said, “Many families are really struggling at the moment as cost of living challenges intensify. Our latest data tracking in the UK finds that one in four households with children have experienced food insecurity in the past month, with four million children living in households experiencing food insecurity.

“Sainsbury’s decision to extend its coupon offer to families in Wales and Northern Ireland will help to reduce health inequities by ensuring that all Healthy Start recipients are eligible for the £2 top-up. We know that good nutrition during the first few years of life is critical for healthy growth and development, so it would be great to see other retailers follow Sainsbury’s lead and boost their support of the Healthy Start scheme.”

The step comes as last week, Sainsbury’s announced its new Nourish the Nation programme, a long-term aim to support communities with access to food now and in the future, working with longstanding charity partner Comic Relief.

As part of the programme, Sainsbury’s will be donating £3 million to support communities with access to food now and supporting projects that help prevent people and communities falling further into food poverty in the future. This includes a £1.5 million donation to long-standing partner Comic Relief, FareShare and key redistribution partners to support communities this Christmas.

From 23rd November until 24th December, the retailer is also asking customers to donate, if they can, when shopping in-store at Sainsbury’s and Argos, online at Sainsbury’s, or donating Nectar points on the Nectar app or website. Sainsbury’s will match all donations up to the value of £1.5 million. Customers can also donate food products at the food donation points in selected Sainsbury’s stores, which will go to local food charity partners.

* Latest figures of eligible beneficiaries in Wales and Northern Ireland as of March 2022
**Full terms of eligibility can be found here:
*** Coupons are printed in superstores, not convenience stores. However, coupons can be redeemed in both superstores and convenience stores.

The NHS Business Services Authority deliver the NHS Healthy Start scheme on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care.

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