Mobile Fruit and Veg vans for the Healthiest Possible Start
The Alexandra Rose Charity has established the Rose Voucher project, which helps parents with young children on low incomes buy fresh fruit and vegetables.
• to tackle food poverty and support healthy eating;
• give families the spending power and skills for a healthy start;
• and support local markets/ businesses.
Through the Rose Vouchers for Fruit & Veg Project Alexandra Rose Charity helps families on low incomes to buy fresh fruit and vegetables and supports them to give their children the healthiest possible start. A family receives £3 of Rose Vouchers for each child, every week, or £6 if the child is under one year old. To be eligible for Rose Vouchers, families should meet the criteria for the Healthy Start voucher scheme.
The project works with staff at local children’s centres who recruit and distribute Rose Vouchers to families which stand to benefit most from the project, due to their susceptibility to food poverty, dietary related health issues or other risk factors. Partnering with children’s centres also encourages families to engage with other health and wellbeing activities that they offer. They currently support around 220 families a week in Liverpool.
“In December 2017, we were delighted to launch Rose Vouchers for Fruit & Veg with Belle Vale and Granby Children Centres in Liverpool. We have subsequently expanded into the Dingle, Wavertree and Picton Children’s centres. At present the Rose Voucher scheme in Liverpool is not funded directly by the city but as one of the most consistently well managed and used schemes in the UK, ARC continues to support us.” – Lucy Antal, chair of the Liverpool steering group for Rose Vouchers
The Rose Vouchers Project additionally supports the economic vibrancy of local food economies as vouchers can only be used to purchase fruit and vegetables from local street markets, independent greengrocers and community food projects. The Liverpool project is unique in this respect, as in the areas where the project is most needed, there is a lack of easy access to local markets. As a solution they have joined forces with a local fruit and veg company ‘Banana Bunch’ that operates mobile fruit and veg vans selling fresh produce throughout the city. This alternative retail model has helped prove that the Rose Vouchers Project can work in areas where street markets do not currently exist.