Sustain Food Poverty Taking local action Improve uptake of Healthy Start and Best Start schemes

Healthy Start map: Estimated loss to families in 2021

In 2021, on average only 54% of eligible families were receiving Healthy Start vouchers, which help parents of young children and pregnant women buy fruit, vegetables, milk and infant formula. As a result, hundreds of thousands missed out on this much-needed scheme - a huge loss to families struggling to cover the rising cost of living.

In our Healthy Start map we highlight the estimated cash shortfall for families in each Local Authority, as well as the average take up in each area during 2021.

> £600,000 shortfall

£450,000 - £600,000

£300,000 - £450,000

£150,000 - £300,000

£0 - £150,000

No data

> 60% take up

55% - 60%

50% - 55%

45% - 50%

0% - 45%

No data

Estimated cash shortfall in 2021

East Midlands £5,117,027.36
East of England £6,581,147.44
London £11,769,611.20
North East £3,077,267.96
North West £9,462,443.52
South East £8,585,889.04
South West £4,730,459.24
West Midlands £7,707,505.28
Yorkshire & Humber £6,505,891.20
England £63,537,601.48
Wales £3,421,851.08
Belfast Health Trust £560,068.52
Northern Health Trust £542,939.80
South Eastern Health Trust £434,837.12
Southern Health Trust £542,142.68
Western Health Trust £455,176.72
Northern Ireland £2,535,164.84
England, Wales and Northern Ireland £69,494,617.40


Note: Local Authority average take up of Healthy Start paper vouchers is published by NHS Business Services Authority. Cash shortfall is estimated by multiplying the number of beneficiaries missing out each year by the value of the voucher over the course of a year.

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