The Scottish Government is to introduce Smartcards as a replacement for the current food vouchers for low income families by summer 2019.
Welfare Foods is one of the new powers coming to Scotland. A public consultation was held looking at how to improve the service and increase uptake for those eligible.
At the moment UK Welfare Foods includes: Healthy Start Vouchers, Healthy Start Vitamins, and the Nursery Milk Scheme. The Healthy Start vouchers will be replaced by Best Start Foods via a smartcard.
The consultation indicated that there should be more publicity around the scheme and that retailers should label foods and show on their websites that the smartcard can be used.
The weekly value is to increase from £3.10 to £4.25.
Joe FitzPatrick, Public Health Minister in the Scottish Government said:
“Improving Scotland’s health and tackling inequality starts with ensuring everyone can have a healthy diet, especially families with young children. Diet impacts on children’s health, their learning ability and their life chances as they grow up, but too many low income families face barriers to eating healthily.
“There is clear and strong backing for our plans to further support families, through making the system easy to use and by increasing the foods that families can access. This gives us a strong foundation for introducing these changes.”