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School Fruit Scheme

EU initiative

Legal basis

In November 2008 a political agreement was reached in the Agriculture Council on the Commission proposal for a European Union-wide scheme to provide fruit and vegetables to school children. European funds worth €90 million every year will pay for the purchase and distribution of fresh fruit and vegetables to schools. This money will be matched by national and private funds in those Member States which chose to make use of the programme. The School Fruit Scheme aims to encourage good eating habits in young people, which studies show tend to be carried on into later life. Besides providing fruit and vegetables to a target group of schoolchildren, the scheme will require participating Member States to set up strategies including educational and awareness-raising initiatives and the sharing of best practice. An estimated 22 million children in the EU are overweight. More than 5 million these are obese and this figure is expected to rise by 400,000 every year. Improved nutrition can play an important part in combating this problem.

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