Waitrose has today committed to topping-up the value of the Government’s Healthy Start Vouchers, issued to pregnant women and low income families with children under the age of four, by an additional £1.50 – more than any other supermarket. 

From today, customers can present their voucher at a Waitrose checkout, where the supermarket will increase its value from £3.10 to £4.60. The vouchers can be spent on healthy foods, including fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables.

James Bailey, Executive Director for Waitrose, said: 

“We’re committed to helping people across the country access nutritious food. We hope this latest move will help boost the fruit and veg intake for expectant mothers and thousands of young children at a vital stage of their development. We know Healthy Start Vouchers provide essential support to people so we wanted to help make them go even further.”

The announcement is the latest of a number of initiatives by the John Lewis Partnership to support families in need. Its campaign, ‘Give a Little Love’ which is centred around kindness, has raised more than £3m so far for charities FareShare (which helps those facing food poverty) and Home-Start (which works with families who need support). Last month, in light of the ongoing economic impact of the pandemic, the Partnership pledged to extend its support, pooling the expertise and passion of Partners, resources, networks and time to meet the specific needs of the most vulnerable in society, backed with a further donation of £2m.

The Partnership is also a member of Marcus Rashford’s Child Food Poverty Task Force, a coalition of brands working together to end child food poverty.

Waitrose and John Lewis have also been offering practical support to families. Its expert Partners will be giving nutrition and nursery advice to Home-Start community groups and Waitrose donates surplus stock directly to families in need through Fareshare.

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