Sinn Féin Dublin EU candidate Lynn Boylan has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine to step up Ireland’s participation in the EU’s School Fruit Scheme.
The young Tallaght woman said;
“Childhood obesity is a real problem in Ireland. One in four of our kids are overweight yet despite the EU funding of the School Fruit Scheme primary school children in Ireland are getting up to two thirds less fruit than their European counterparts.
“Education is central to tackling childhood obesity but provision of fruit itself is also really important.
“The Food Dudes Healthy Eating Programme funded by the scheme is a great educational tool for kids that could only be enhanced by increased provision of fruit directly to primary schools for children.
“Safefood Ireland’s childhood obesity campaign has also has been warmly received by parents and medical professionals.
“The government needs to step up Ireland’s participation in the EU School Fruit Scheme and build on the success of the Food Dudes Programme.
“An EU Commission evaluation of the scheme found that a sustained distribution of fruit for 35 school weeks or more should be the target if children’s eating habits are to be improved for the long term.”