Our Healthy Start box scheme began with a successful trial in the summer of 2020. The trial was run in collaboration with Cambridge Sustainable Food and the Cambridge Food Poverty Alliance, who continue to support us as we continue with the scheme.
Our goal is to make good quality, local organic fruit and vegetables more accessible to families on low incomes. The food is not donated or surplus – it is just as high quality as the produce that we supply for wholesale customers, and that Cambridge Organic fills their veg boxes with. Feedback from members suggests there are also benefits that came from the veg box-style service (where you don’t know what you’ll get from one box to another!) including children’s excitement at discovering what was supplied in the delivery.
“The kids loved finding out what was in the bag each week”
“It made me try new things”
Members of the scheme pay £3 plus a Healthy Start voucher each week for either a veg or fruit and veg box. We cover additional costs such as delivery. The scheme is simple and cost-effective for us to run because we have the infrastructure in place already, including the people to pack and deliver the boxes and the systems to administer it. Once up and running, it is very little effort on our part or that of our members. We hope that having a reliable, low-effort and weekly service will support families who might otherwise be pressed for time.
If you know someone who receives Healthy Start vouchers, do encourage them to get in touch with us: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us on 01223873300.
If you know someone who may be eligible for Healthy Start vouchers* they can apply to receive vouchers at the link below:
* You qualify for Healthy Start if you’re at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four years old and you or your family get:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance *
- Child Tax Credit with a family income of £16,190 or less per year
- Pension Credit; or
- Universal Credit with no earned income or total earned income of £408 or less per month for the family. (To find this refer to your Universal Credit award notice in the section “your take home pay for this month”.)
You also qualify if you are under 18 and pregnant, even if you don’t get any of the above benefits.