Leicester Market traders offer a healthy start to those in need
By Jake Olner
A new welfare scheme is offering fresh fruit and vegetables in Leicester Market.
Under a new programme called ‘Healthy Start’, pregnant women, parents with children younger than four and people on low income are eligible for their tokens.
The vouchers are worth £3.10 each, which can be spent on cow’s milk, formula milk or fresh fruit and vegetables.
Vicki Chapple, 45, of Letchworth Road, owns one of the two stalls on the market accepting the tokens. She said: “It started about six weeks ago, so it’s quite fresh and there’s only two of us on the market who are accepting it.
“I’m happy to take the tokens; I think it’s good that people on low incomes can get fresh food, and not only that, because we’re cheaper than supermarkets, they’re getting larger quantities for their money.”
The market manager initially approached Miss Chapple and, when asked if she would be interested in trialling the scheme, she was only too happy to accept.
She added: “It’s introducing fruit at a young age to children and, obviously, if it’s people who need help and can’t really afford fresh food because fruit and veg can be expensive, it’s a good thing.
“Today, £3.10 could get you a bowl of bananas, a bowl of apples and packet of blueberries or strawberries.”
People who qualify for the tokens may use them once a week and families with children under the age of one may use two.
To see if you are eligible for the tokens and for more details, click here.
You can find Vicki Chapple’s and Pasquale Garcea’s stalls in the market Monday to Saturday by looking for the Healthy Start stickers they keep on their stall.