In accordance with the six-year Statement of Strategy for the implementation of the School Scheme in Ireland (1 August 2017 – 31 July 2023) my Department projects that 700 schools and 120,000 children will participate in the School Fruit and Vegetables Scheme in the current school year (2018/19). 692 schools participated in the school year 2017/2018. Subject to available funding, the number of participating schools and children will scale up to 1,400 schools and 240,000 children in the 2019/20 school year and 2,100 schools and 360,000 children in the 2020/21 school year.
As regards funding, Ireland has been allocated an annual envelope of EU funding of €1.758 million for the scheme. This funding will be utilised in full in the 2018/19 school year. My Department also plans to apply to the Commission for a share of the unused EU aid allocated to other Member States.