EU funds for Ireland’s Food Dudes

Ireland is to receive €1 309 313 in the latest funding round from the EU’s school Fruit and Vegetables Scheme. In Ireland, this money goes to support the very successful Food Dudes scheme which is rolled out across Irish primary schools and aims to get young children to try new fruits and vegetables.

The Scheme is an EU-wide initiative to encourage healthier eating habits in school children at a young age. Improved nutrition plays an important role in combating health problems related to poor nutrition, such as child obesity.

In all, € 150 million of EU aid has been set aside under the School Fruit and Vegetables Scheme for the 2016/2017 school year. This is put together with nearly € 40 million of national or private co-funding in the 25 Member States that participate. Ireland can top up its allocation at a co-funding rate of 25%.

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.

Here is a link to the Irish authorities’ most recent report on the implementation of this scheme which gives further detail.

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