A million infant school children in England will get free fruit every day. A total of £42m from lottery money will be used to fund the initiative between 2002 and 2004, the BBC reports. In a bid to encourage the young to eat a healthy diet with the ultimate aim of reducing heart disease and cancer in the UK population every infant school pupil will have the right to free fruit. The scheme has so far been piloted in 500 schools, providing 80,000 four to six-year-olds with one piece on every school day. According to the report an evaluation of the pilot schemes found that four in five of the children took the fruit they were offered, and consumption was maintained over time. This is positive news compared to a survey in 2000 that suggested that children were only eating two portions of fruit and vegetables a day as opposed to the recommended five and that one in five children ate no fruit in a week and three in five ate no leafy green vegetables. Schools minister Baroness Catherine Ashton said: "The findings of the first evaluation of the national school fruit scheme are positive and encouraging. "They show children enjoy eating fruit when given the opportunity and that eating fruit has benefits that extend into the classroom, aiding learning."