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Farm to School program brings fresh vegetables to students

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SOUTH PLAINFIELD -

One New Jersey food company is promising the freshest and tastiest vegetables possible, as children get settled back into school.

Sometimes it can be tough to get kids to eat their veggies.

The journey begins in Warren County as Lyn Mahony and her staff from Maschio's Food Service walk the rows of cherry tomatoes on Zip's Farm in Washington Township, gathering what soon will be a tasty lunch for elementary school students an hour away.

"Freshness, being picked, nothing better than picking tomatoes off the vine, slicing them right up cutting them right up, putting them on your lunch," says Keith Zipprich, with Zip’s Produce Farms.

The partnership was born on a 3-acre plot of land, filled with veggies, all for the kids. It's the first farm to school lunch program in the state.

With lunch approaching, it's time to ship the crates of tomatoes to the first stop of the day, Franklin Elementary School in South Plainfield.

An hour later, the truck arrives at the school, as kitchen staff wash, prep, and season the cherry tomatoes just in time for the first lunch period of the day.

"It is exciting to see it come from the farm, handpicked to the Franklin school, fresh tomatoes is so healthy," says Principal Ralph Errico.

The total time from picking to eating is just under three hours. 

The farmers at Zip's say if the weather cooperates, they should be able to continue to provide fresh farm to school veggies right through the end of October. 

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