Waitrose Sunningdale

UK supermarket Waitrose has today (3 February) committed to topping-up the value of the government’s Healthy Start Vouchers, issued to pregnant women and low income families with young children, to help them buy fruit and vegetables.

Waitrose said it will increase the voucher value by £1.50 (from £3.10 to £4.60) when presented at checkout to do its bit to help expectant mothers and young children from low-income families eat healthily. Healthy Start Vouchers can be spent on fresh, frozen and tinned fruit and vegetables.

James Bailey, executive director for Waitrose, said: “We’re committed to helping people across the country access nutritious food. We hope this latest move will help boost the fruit and veg intake for expectant mothers and thousands of young children at a vital stage of their development. We know Healthy Start Vouchers provide essential support to people so we wanted to help make them go even further.”

The announcement is the latest of a number of initiatives by Waitrose's parent organisation the John Lewis Partnership to support families in need. Its campaign, ‘Give a Little Love’ which is centred around kindness, has raised more than £3m so far for charities FareShare (which helps those facing food poverty) and Home-Start (which works with families who need support), the group said.

Last month, in light of the ongoing economic impact of the pandemic, the Partnership pledged to extend its support, pooling the expertise and passion of Partners, resources, networks and time to meet the specific needs of the most vulnerable in society, backed with a further donation of £2m.

The Partnership is also a member of Marcus Rashford’s Child Food Poverty Task Force, a coalition of brands working together to end child food poverty.

Waitrose has 331 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 59 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. The retailer's omnichannel business includes the online grocery service, Waitrose.com, as well as specialist online shops including waitrosecellar.com for wine and waitroseflorist.com for plants and flowers.