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Food and vitamins for mums to be

PUBLISHED: 18:34 24 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:51 30 June 2010

PARENTS and pregnant women are being encouraged to take advantage of vouchers giving away free milk, fruit, vegetables and vitamins.

Families with children under four, pregnant women or parents aged 18 or under could be missing out on vouchers offering free food and vitamins.

PARENTS and pregnant women are being encouraged to take advantage of vouchers giving away free milk, fruit, vegetables and vitamins.

Families with children under four, pregnant women or parents aged 18 or under could be missing out on vouchers offering free food and vitamins.

Pregnant women are entitled to a sign up for the healthy start vouchers. They can claim a £3.10 voucher and for each baby under the age of one they are eligible for a £6.20 voucher.

Expectant mothers or parents with a child under four are also entitled to vitamin vouchers worth 90p and vitamin drops worth £1.77. The vitamins are available at most children's centres.

NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney health improvement manager Sarah Barnes said: “We know hundreds of people aren't accessing these vouchers. This is essentially free food and vitamins for eligible women and children.

“We want as many families as possible to start using the vouchers.”

Vouchers can be spent on liquid cows' milk, fresh fruit, vegetables and infant formula milk at local shops and supermarkets. Vitamins coupons can be exchanged at children's centres some GP surgeries and the mobile food store.

Mrs Barnes added: “To qualify for the vouchers women need to be at least 10 weeks pregnant, your child needs to be under-four years old and your family receives either income support, income-based Job Seeker's Allowance, income-related employment and support allowance or child tax credit.

“You also qualify if you are under 18 and pregnant, even if you aren't claiming any of the benefits.”

Families can access the vouchers by talking to their midwife or health visitor or apply by completing an application form. The vouchers are then sent directly to the family every four weeks, or every eight weeks for the vitamin vouchers.

To find shops that accept the vouchers or get an application form visit www.healthystart.nhs.uk or call 0845 607 6823.

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