THE permanent management committee of the European Union has approved the final national allocations for the 2014-15 School Fruit Scheme, according to which Cyprus is to get €290,000 for the implementation of the programme which will cover 75 per cent of its total cost.
The funds, which have to be supplemented by national or private contributions, cover the period between August 1, 2014 and July 31, 2015.
The scheme is an EU-wide voluntary programme which has been running for six years and provides school children with fresh fruit and vegetables aiming to encourage healthy eating habits and to combat problems related to poor nutrition. Child obesity is a great concern among organisers of the scheme as one in three children in the EU between the ages of 6 and 9 are overweight or obese.
The scheme requires participating member states to set up strategies including educational initiatives and raising awareness.
The decision is expected to be ratified by the EU Commission in the upcoming weeks. The whole cost of the programme for 2014-15 is €150m.
Last year, 8.6m children took part in the programme, a 6 per cent increase from the 2011-2012 period.