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Commission to distribute healthy meals to over 20 million children on September

Commission to distribute healthy meals to over 20 million children on September
To promote healthy eating habits among children, European Commission has decide the distribution of fruit, vegetables and milk products, as well as dedicated educational programmes to teach pupils about the importance of good nutrition and to explain how food is produced. This single scheme merges and optimizes the existing projects that last year reached over 20 million children. Although participation is optional, all 28 Member States indicated they will take part in the initiative in the 2017/2018 school year.

Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said: "I am very pleased that the new school scheme will be introduced tomorrow. The scheme provides valuable support to millions of European schoolchildren and thousands of farmers in every Member State. Such support has proven particularly important for farmers in recent years and the increased funding will enhance the value of this support. In addition, the new scheme meets my priority of simplification through the integration of the former school milk and vegetable schemes. Finally, I am happy to be involved with an initiative with Commissioners Andriukaitis and Navracsics to promote a healthy lifestyle and I am convinced that this scheme has a valuable part to play."

Fresh fruit, vegetables and drinking milk will be given as a priority to school children. Processed products such as soup, fruit compotes, juice, yoghurts and cheese may also be distributed if this choice is approved by the national health authorities. No added sugar, salt and fat are allowed unless the national health authorities permit limited quantities.

Besides deciding on the exact way to put the scheme in place,like the inclusion of thematic educational measures and other agricultural products, Member States have the option to top up the EU aid with national aid for financing the scheme.

This choice of products shall be based on health and environmental considerations, seasonality, variety and availability with priority to EU products. Member States may encourage local or regional purchasing, organic products, short supply chains, environmental benefits, agricultural quality schemes.

Of the €250 million EU funding agreed for 2017–2018 school year, roughly €150 million will be allocated for fruit and vegetables and €100 million for milk.

Currently, 24 Member States take part in the old fruit and vegetable scheme and 28 in the old milk scheme. Last year, around 20 million children benefited from the milk scheme and around 11.7 million children from the fruit and vegetables scheme./IBNA

EU aid for school year 2017/2018 

 

Member State

Definitive allocation for school fruit and vegetables

in EUR

Definitive allocation for school milk

in EUR

Belgium3 367 9301 650 729
Bulgaria2 677 1091 167 367
Czech Republic4 082 9031 842 407
Denmark2 386 3931 606 402
Germany25 826 31510 947 880
Estonia565 888732 225
Ireland2 007 779900 398
Greece3 218 8851 550 685
Spain12 932 6476 302 784
France17 990 46917 123 194
Croatia1 720 946800 354
Italy21 704 9569 261 220
Cyprus390 044400 177
Latvia813 091745 497
Lithuania1 134 6611 091 333
Luxembourg343 568193 000
Hungary3 885 5991 972 368
Malta372 747144 750
Netherlands7 063 2512 401 061
Austria2 946 5911 278 933
Poland14 985 91611 047 202
Portugal3 283 3972 220 981
Romania6 866 84810 865 578
Slovenia727 411363 811
Slovakia2 185 2911 020 425
Finland1 599 0473 824 689
Sweden09 245 859
United Kingdom04 219 008
Total145 079 683104 920 317

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