• Kenneth Gibson MSP

£2,085,870 paid to North Ayrshire Families as Best Start Food Payments increase


The SNP Government is increasing Best Start Foods payments this month, fulfilling another commitment for the first 100 days of this government.


The payment supports low income families to buy healthy food for children under the age of three, and forms part of the SNP Government’s national mission of eradicating child poverty.


Best Start Foods is part of a package of five family payments administered by Social Security Scotland. It is made every four weeks on a pre-paid card to buy healthy food including eggs, milk, fruit, vegetables and pulses. The payment is increasing to £18 from £17 during pregnancy and for any children between one and three years old. It’s also increasing to £36 from £34 for children under one.


Between December 2018 when the first payment started and 31 May 2021, £60.8 million has been paid to 179,575 families for Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods with £16.7 million of these payments being for Best Start Foods.


During that period 6,260 payments were made to families across North Ayrshire, putting £2,085,870 in people’s pockets and into the North Ayrshire economy.


Kenneth Gibson MSP said:


“I am delighted the SNP Government has made good on its First 100 Day commitment to increase Best Start Food payments, makingdd a real difference to people’s lives.


“The commitment to pay £100 as part of Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payments worth £520 in both 2020 and 2021 had already been fulfilled and families will now have received £200 for each eligible child this year - almost two years ahead of the planned full roll-out of Scottish Child Payment for older children.


“With a further £77 million investment both this and next year, this measure will benefit around 145,000 children and young people in receipt of Free School Meals on the basis of low income.


“Families across North Ayrshire and Scotland now have a unique package of payments that will help them as their child grows, which is especially welcome after the financial difficulties the pandemic caused for many. I encourage all families on low incomes to check what they are entitled to.”


Social security Scotland: Benefits

Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods high level statistics to 31 May 2021


Further information on eligibility for Free School Meals can be found at:


https://www.mygov.scot/school-meals.


ENDS