§ Mr. Jim Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proposals he has to introduce free fruit in primary schools; and what estimate he has made of how much such provision would cost. 
§ Ms Blears
[holding answer 29 October 2002]: The national school fruit scheme will entitle every child aged four to six to a free piece of fruit each school day from 2004. The scheme is currently being expanded to all eligible schools through large scale pilots on a region by region basis with funding of £42 million from the new opportunities fund.
The expansion began with the West Midlands and is continuing in London this school term. By the end of this year free fruit will be available to up to 600,000 children in around 4,000 schools. The next regions to benefit will be North West and East Midlands.
We will be closely monitoring and reviewing the experience from the pilots in order to make an accurate assessment of the annual cost of provision on a national scale.