Scottish shops to take part in prepaid card initiative under Best Start Foods

Social Security Scotland’s (SSS) Best Start Foods initiative will encourage 40,000 holders of a prepaid card to use it at their local shops

More than 2,200 Scottish symbol group stores are eligible to take part in a new scheme helping pregnant women and families with the cost of buying healthy food and milk for babies.

Social Security Scotland’s (SSS) Best Start Foods initiative will raise awareness of the payment and encourage 40,000 holders of a prepaid card to use it at their local shops, following a partnership with The Scottish Grocers Federation (SGF) Healthy Living Programme.

Retailers will be required to display information around their store to let customers know they accept the prepaid card as a method of payment, which can be topped up to £39.60 every four weeks.

The SGF’s Healthy Living Programme will also train and encourage staff in shops to get their customers used to paying with the cards.

Among the chains involved in the new scheme are Spar, Keystore, Nisa and Premier. The network of small shops promoting Best Start Foods spans the whole of Scotland including the Shetland Isles in the north to the Scottish Borders in the south and from Harris, Stornoway in the west to Peterhead in the east.

SSS chief executive, David Wallace said: “Local convenience shops can sometimes be the lifeblood of their communities. This initiative means owners and staff can offer support to their customers, ensuring they use all of the financial support available to them.

“I would encourage anyone who has a Best Start Foods card to check their balance and to make sure they are using it regularly.

“As well as the smaller local stores the card can be used in most big supermarkets and online.”

SGF’s Healthy Living Programme director, Kathryn Neil added: “We are delighted to collaborate on raising the awareness and up take of the Best Start Foods scheme in convenience stores.

“This positive partnership presents the opportunity for Healthy Living Partnership to join up with other Scottish government policies.

“Healthy Living Partnership’s relationships with the convenience and wholesale sector allows us to deliver the information to consumers in the most deprived areas of Scotland and reaching those who are eligible.”

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