Further submission from HM Treasury
The National School Fruit Scheme (NSFS) is an
NHS Plan commitment to entitle all four to six year olds to a
free piece of fruit each school day by 2004, run by the Department
of Health (DoH). The NSFS covers four whole school years including
some 3 and some 7 year olds. The scheme is currently funded through
a New Opportunities Fund grant which is providing £42 million
over the next two years.
The scheme was successfully piloted in autumn
2000 and spring 2001 and it is now being extended throughout England
on a region-by-region basis. This started with West Midlands in
summer term 2002, London in the autumn term, will continue in
the North-West in spring 2003 and East Midlands in summer 2003.
Subsequent regions will join at the approximate rate of one per
Schemes for the provision of fruit in schools
have also been piloted in Scotland and Wales. In July 2002, Glasgow
established `Fruit Plus', a joint project between Glasgow City
Council and NHS Greater Glasgow. Children between three and twelve
receive free fruit three times per week during term. The project
also places an emphasis on integrating the principles of healthy
eating into the school curriculum.
The NSFS, Scots and Welsh fruit schemes work
alongside the Government's Five-a-Day programme to increase fruit
and vegetable consumption and other programmes aimed at encouraging
children to eat healthy diets. Improved diets are a key feature
of prevention strategies to reduce early deaths from cancer and
coronary heart disease, and reduce health inequalities.