More than £10,000 in fruit and veg vouchers have been distributed to local families on low incomes to spend at North End Road market.
So far, more than 100 families have benefitted from the Hammersmith & Fulham Council-funded voucher scheme since it was launched last year.
Known as the Rose Vouchers for Fruit and Veg Project, the initiative is organised by the Alexandra Rose Charity whose mission is to tackle food poverty and promote healthy eating while providing support for local markets.
“This initiative supports North End Road market and helps families access healthy food which some might not otherwise be able to afford.
“Recent benefit changes have had a devastating impact on household budgets and these vouchers help ease some of the pressure,” said Cllr Sue Fennimore, Deputy Leader of H&F Council.
Rose Vouchers are distributed to families via the council's children’s centres with staff identifying those who could benefit the most. The vouchers are worth £3 per child, every week (or double if the child is aged under 12 months) and are redeemable at the bustling North End Road market. The council is currently looking at ways to expand the scheme.
Jonathan Pauling from the Alexandra Rose Charity, said: “We are really pleased with how well the project has gone in the first year. With support from children’s centre staff and the North End Road Action Group we’ve been able to engage over 100 families while introducing new customers to the delights of market shopping. We’re really looking forward to building on this success over the coming year and getting more families involved.”
‘Cook and Eat’ classes
Weekly ‘cook and eat classes’ are held at Melcombe Children’s Centre so that the whole family can get involved in preparing healthy meals using seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables. Classes are also taking place at Fulham Central Children’s Centre in June and July.
One of the parents involved in the scheme said: “Now I give my children veg all the time – they have it every day and it's something they are used to.” Another added: “Now we cook lots and freeze leftovers so there's no need for fast food or ready meals.”
Find out more
If you have a child aged under-five and are interested in finding out if you qualify, please speak to Masbro, Melcombe and Fulham Central children’s centres.
Want to read more news stories like this? Subscribe to our weekly e-news bulletin.