(Nov. 21, 12:32 p.m.) Following the lead of the U.S. fruit and vegetable program for schools, the European Commission approved spending $112 million a year for fruit and vegetable distribution to school children.

The commission approved the European Union’s School Fruit Scheme, which allocates money on a matching basis to each of 27 EU member states. The Nov. 19 vote by the commission represents the payoff of more than a year of effort on the program, according to a new release from the United Fresh Produce Association, Washington, D.C.

United Fresh worked with Belgium-based Fresfel and European public health agencies to build support for the policy and funding, according to the release.

Lorelei DiSogra, vice president of nutrition and health for United Fresh, is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at a conference considering European promotion of fresh produce in schools. The conference is set for Dec. 15-16 in Brussels, Belgium.

DiSogra’s address will revisit the theme of the public health benefits of providing fruit and vegetable snacks to children.

“As an association, we’ve worked tirelessly to bring this program to schools across the U.S. and it is great to see it expand throughout Europe,” DiSogra said in the release.