Published: 07/11/2002, Volume II2, No. 5830 Page 8

The food welfare scheme - which has offered free milk tokens for over 60 years - is to be revamped to offer fixed face-value vouchers that can be redeemed for a wider range of foods, including fruit, vegetables, cereals and other foods suitable for weaning.Launching a consultation on the planned changes, known as Healthy Start , public health minister Hazel Blears said: 'The value of the voucher will be broadly equivalent to the value of the same seven pints of liquid milk that are provided under the current scheme. It will give women, mothers and carers more choice and a more flexible way of providing for their families.'