Big win for children as Government announces winter package to help tackle food poverty

We’re delighted to hear the news of the Government’s new winter package to provide further support for children and families to alleviate child food poverty over the next few months. 

We’re proud to have been part of the coalition of organisations led by The Food Foundation and Marcus Rashford, who have been working on the #EndChildFoodPoverty campaign to push for these changes. 

The new package consists of: 

  • £170m Covid Winter Grant Scheme to support children, families and the most vulnerable over winter
  • Holiday Activities and Food programme to be expanded, covering Easter, Summer and Christmas in 2021
  • Healthy Start voucher value set to rise from £3.10 to £4.25 a week from April 2021
  • Suite of measures represents long-term plan to help tackle poor health, hunger and education.

We particularly welcome the increase in the value of the Healthy Start vouchers for pregnant women and families with young children. We know from our own experience of running the Rose Vouchers Project, and from speaking with many families this year, that this will make a big difference in supporting families to buy fresh fruit and veg and increase their ability to give their children healthy meals.

“Being able have healthy food affects everything; how my boys grow, their bones and skin, and their mental health and emotions. My first child had eczema and we needed healthy food to support him, as fatty food and oils make it worse. Without the Healthy Start vouchers we would be in a dilemma with what we can buy, we have to balance every decision. It’s painful to see your child crying when you know you can’t buy them the food they need.”

Father of three

“Healthy Start really makes a difference, most people are struggling to go back to the normal standards of living after coronavirus, these vouchers help. I can use them for milk, and fruit and vegetables and now also for baby formula. It really helps as this is expensive, and my baby likes a lot of milk. With my vouchers I save about half of the cost. It means I can save my money to buy other things for my children.”

Mother of three

“This is great news for families across the country who will now find it easier to feed themselves and their children a healthy diet. More than ever it’s crucial that people can access and afford good food and these measures will go a long way. However, because of the strict eligibility criteria many families in need will still miss out. It’s therefore crucial that the government look again at this issue to make sure that no families are left behind.”  

Jonathan Pauling

Chief Executive, Alexandra Rose Charity
[PHOTO: logos of charities and organisations supporting the campaign to end child food poverty]