The European Commission today decided on the definitive allocation of EU aid to Member States under a School Fruit Scheme for the 2011/2012 school year. This will be the third year of the Scheme's application since its launch in 2009.
24 Member States have decided to participate in the programme with only Sweden, Finland and the United Kingdom opting out.
Out of the €90 million of EU funds available for financing the Scheme, the main beneficiaries in 2011/2012 will be Italy (€18 million), Germany (€11 million), France (€10 million), Poland (€9 million) and Romania (€8 million).
The EU funds are co-financing the Scheme and must be matched by national or private contributions.
The Scheme is an important EU-wide initiative in efforts 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.
In the 2009/2010 school year, 4.7 million children in participating Member States benefited from the Scheme by receiving portions of fruit and vegetables in the school.