Iceland has partnered with fruit and vegetable supplier Del Monte to promote the NHS Healthy Start scheme, which was set up in autumn 2021 to help families on a low income buy healthy food and drink.
The partnership marks the first time a supermarket has partnered with a brand to support the UK-wide health-focused initiative, which helps families with young children buy milk, fruit and vegetables, pulses and baby formula. They can also access free Healthy Start vitamins.
Recent data from The Food Foundation revealed a sharp increase in the proportion of households with children experiencing food poverty or food insecurity over the past nine months.
This now stands at 17.2%, up from 12.1% in January 2022 – representing 2.6 million children aged under 18 who live in households that do not have access to a healthy and affordable diet
The new partnership will promote the NHS Healthy Start scheme on the packaging across a wide selection of Del Monte frozen fruit products available at Iceland and The Food Warehouse.
“Data from the NHS Business Services Authority reveals that full take up of the NHS Healthy Start scheme would lead to tens of millions of pounds worth of additional benefit being administered each year to around 130,000 families in need,” said Iceland managing director Richard Walker, describing Iceland as a “proud supporter” of the scheme.
“It’s so important that this takes place, when the difference could mean an extra £442 a year towards essentials like food, baby formula and vitamins.
“We hope that, in broadening the options for low-income families so they can buy the brands they know and love, even more will come forward to claim their financial support during this hard time.”
Martin Tilney, senior commercial director at Del Monte, said he was “proud to be the first brand supporting the Healthy Start Scheme, helping families get the nutrients they need and driving more take-up at such a critical time”.
Zoe McIntyre, children’s Right2Food lead at The Food Foundation, said: “As the UK prepares for one of the most expensive winters we’ve had to date, it’s more important than ever to be making every effort to increase uptake and awareness of NHS Healthy Start for low-income young families.
“Iceland is doing a fantastic job and we look forward to seeing the results from this campaign.”
It’s not the first time Iceland has lent its weight to the healthy eating initiative. Earlier this year the budget supermarket added the NHS Healthy Start messaging to its milk bottles, reaching millions of homes with the details of the scheme.