Irish schools to receive €2.9m for fruit, vegetables and milk

It is designed to help promote the benefits of healthy eating

Irish schools to receive €2.9m for fruit, vegetables and milk

Five-year-old Amy drinking milk from a glass | Image: Patrick Pleul/DPA/PA Images

The State is to receive €2.9m from a new EU school fruit, vegetables and milk scheme.

The scheme will include the distribution of milk, vegetables and fruit to schools around the country between this week and the end of the school terms next summer.

It is designed to help promote the benefits of healthy eating to children.

Funded through the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), it supports the distribution of fruit and vegetables and milk to schools across the EU.

The total EU budget for the scheme is €250m per school year, with €150m for fruit and vegetables and €100m for milk.

The allocation to member states is based on the number of school children and, for milk, on the take-up of previous schemes.

EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan, said: " 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."

Previously, 24 member states took part in a fruit and vegetable scheme and 28 in a milk scheme.

These have now been merged.

Last year, around 20 million children benefited from the milk scheme and around 11.7 million children from the fruit and vegetables scheme.