Get your free veg!

More than 2,500 women in Hampshire could be getting free groceries, but are not claiming them.

A government scheme called Healthy Start gives free fresh fruit, vegetables, milk and vitamins to families on low incomes and pregnant and under 18 year olds. But lots of people do not even know the scheme exists, so are missing out.

This means many mums and small children in Hampshire suffer from vitamin deficiencies. Vitamin D deficiency can result in rickets, a condition where the bones become weak and soft. More and more children are suffering from this.

Kayleigh, who's a single mum from Basingstoke, says the scheme's really helped her look after her son Jamie. Before she was on the scheme she had to borrow money off her mum to buy basics.

"It's helped me a lot with the fruit, because he (Jamie) loves fruit, so I tend to take two vouchers with me then I'll get enough milk and fruit to last me for the month. So it's helped a lot, because before hand I was struggling."

Suzanne Ferretti, a child health manager for North Hampshire, says it's important for families to understand nutrition from an early age. She told Heart many mums struggle to afford to feed their children healthy food.

"We all know how tricky it can be to feed little toddlers and how they can be quite fussy about their food and this can just support the mum and the family in actually ensuring that babies get the full nutrition they need."

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