EU gives Belgian schools 5 million euro to buy healthy food

The European Commission has announced that it is to give Belgium around 5 million euro to provide fruit, vegetables and milk to schools across the country. Each year the EU puts aside 150 million euro for the provision of fruit and vegetables and a further 100for the provision of milk and dairy products to schools in the 28 member states.

During the 2016-2017 school year almost 80,000 children across the EU benefit from the programme. More than 74,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables and 285,000 tonnes of dairy products were distributed.

Speaking on Thursday the European Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan told VRT News that "European farmers provide us with high quality, safe and healthy food.

Through the arrangement with schools our youngest citizens are able to enjoy the health benefits of this produce, while at the same time learning where our food comes and discovering the value of taste and nutrition”.

Carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers

Mr Hogan announced how much each member state will be given as part of the programme during the 2018-2019 school year.

Belgium will get 3.4 million euro for the purchase of fruit and vegetables and 1.6 million euro for the purchase of milk and dairy products. The amounts will be formally confirmed at a meeting to be held at the end of the month.

During the 2016-2017 school year apples were the most widely distributed fruit together with pears, plums, peaches, oranges, strawberries and bananas. Carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers were the most popular vegetables.