The distribution of € 150 million of EU aid under the School Fruit and Vegetables Scheme for the 2016/2017 school year has now been finalised (See annex), and will be published shortly in the Official Journal. This will be topped up by nearly € 40 million of national or private funding in the 25 Member States that participate.
The Scheme is an important EU-wide initiative to encourage healthier eating habits amongst school children as they are more likely to become lifelong habits if developed at an early age. Improved nutrition plays an important role in combating health problems related to poor nutrition, such as child obesity.
This will be the eighth year of the Scheme's application since its launch in 2009, but it will also be the last year of implementation of the Scheme in its current form. A new School Scheme, merging this with the School Milk Scheme, is likely to finalised in the coming weeks and will enter into force from 1 August 2017.
In the 2014/2015 school year, more than 10.2 million children in participating Member States benefited from the Scheme, by receiving portions of fruit and vegetables in their school. This is an increase of 4% compared to the previous school year 2013/2014.