Photo Credit: Jacqueline Macou / Pixabay

Changes to a key Scottish Government benefit will see an estimated 20,000 people able to access money to help with the cost of food shopping for the first time.

Rule changes around eligibility for Best Start Foods came into force on Monday extending eligibility by making it easier to qualify.

Best Start Foods, which was paid to more than 46,000 people in 2022/23, is money every four weeks to help pay for healthy food from pregnancy until a child turns three. It’s delivered on a pre-paid chip and pin card which can be used in most stores and online.

Before the changes it was paid to people who receive qualifying benefits as long as their incomes did not pass certain limits. Those income thresholds have now been removed in a move which means thousands more will be able to successfully apply for a card. Other rule changes have made it simpler for eligible young parents to receive the benefit.

Natalie Don MSP said: “This rule change means an estimated 20,000 more people being able to access money to help with the cost of food shopping.0

“This is an important move by the Scottish Government. In 2024/25 we are committing a record £6.3billion for benefits expenditure, supporting over 1.2 million people to help tackle poverty.

“This is £1.1 billion more than the UK Government gives to the Scottish Government for social security, demonstrating our commitment to tackling poverty.

“This investment allows us to take positive measures such as giving critical help with buying healthy foods to those who need it most.

“It will also further benefit the whole economy when cards are used and the cash is spent.”

Headline photo credit: Jacqueline Macou / Pixabay

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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