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FUNDING FOR SCHOOL FRUIT TUCK SHOPS

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Minister for health and social services Jane Hutt has announced that a further£66,000 is to be shared between the ...
Minister for health and social services Jane Hutt has announced that a further£66,000 is to be shared between the local healthy school schemes which are run in each of the 22 local authorities in Wales, in a bid to encourage pupils to eat more fruit from school fruit tuck shops.

The national assembly for Wales has already allocated more than£500,000 to local healthy school schemes, which currently support some 250 schools. The number of schools taking part is expected to double during the next 12 months, putting healthy lifestyles on the timetable for even more primary and secondary school pupils.

Shops may be organised by any members of the school community but many are operated almost entirely by children, who not only learn about the benefits of including fruit in a healthy diet but also acquire money-handling and business skills. By setting up school fruit tuck shops on a cost-recovery basis, the schools are actively encouraging pupils to buy reasonably priced fresh fruit on a daily basis within school hours.

The Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes (WNHSS) was launched in 1999 by the national assembly to promote the health and wellbeing of schoolchildren. The initiative requires a whole school approach to address issues such as nutrition, exercise, young people and smoking and various other health-related issues in a way which is specific to each individual school's requirements and priorities.

Jane Hutt said: 'Eating fruit every day is really important for children. It reduces the chances of them developing coronary heart disease and certain cancers, can help prevent overweight and obesity, and it provides a healthy, nutritious snack.

'A school which runs its own fruit tuck shop is actively encouraging pupils to choose fruit ahead of other less healthy and often more expensive alternatives like crisps and sweets.'

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