The European Union's School Fruit Scheme is expected to be up and running in Bulgaria as of the start of the next school year, it has been announced.
The European Commission has agreed to allocate just under Lv7.3m (€3.75m) to Bulgaria's national school fruit distribution initiative, with more than 320,000 children in the country's schools set to benefit.
However, Kalina Ilieva, director of Bulgaria’s State Agriculture Fund Payment Agency, told the Focus news agency that plans were already in place to expand the project to other schools.
"We want to make the scheme popular so that more schools can benefit it," she said. "The scheme is not like the direct payments, in which you wait to see how many candidates will apply and then you distribute the sum. The rules state that the fund must be distributed among all children who could benefit from the scheme."
For that reason, documents can be submitted throughout June by any Bulgarian educational establishment hoping to take part. "I think the scheme can be easily accessed," Ms Ilieva added.