Minister Aims to Expand School Fruit Program to More Grade Levels
Minister of Agriculture Helir-Valdor Seeder has pledged to make a proposal to the European Commission to extend the EU’s School fruit and vegetable program to kindergartens and the fifth grade.
So far, grades one to four have been enrolled in the pan-European Fruit Scheme, which provides additional fresh fruit and vegetables to younger schoolchildren to encourage healthy eating habits.
Within the last year, tens of kindergartens across the nation have requested to participate in the program, Postimees reported.
According to Seeder, the current budget for the project is 380,000 euros, out of which 75 percent is financed by EU and the rest by the state.
Nevertheless, as participation in the program is voluntary and contains passing a bureaucratic gauntlet, many local governments have not signed up their municipal schools for the project, said Seeder.
The minister refrained from predicting whether the commission would go along with the idea of expanding the project and offer additional funding.