Village Farms Fresh Gives back to Local Texas Veteran through Partnership with Military Makeover


Village Farms Fresh recently partnered with the special home improvement series, Military Makeover hosted by Montel Williams.  The company is featured in episode 2 of season 36 that airs on Lifetime TV beginning Friday, November 17 at 7:30am ET and PT.  Decorated U.S. Army veteran Carlos Colón-Ruiz who resides in Arlington, Texas, along with his family, receives an awesome complete home remodel during the series. 

Pictured left to right: Infantry Sergeant Carlos Colón-Ruiz, the Colón-Ruiz family, Carlos Colón-Ruiz & President George W. Bush

“Village Farms Fresh is honored to partner with Military Makeover on this series in support of the Infantry Sergeant Colón-Ruiz, an outstanding veteran and exemplary human being. Our company has deep roots in Texas, with a team that was profoundly inspired to help with this veteran’s surprise home renovation,” said Michael DeGiglio, President & CEO of Village Farms International. Mr. DeGiglio is a veteran himself who served in the U.S. Navy as an officer and jet aviator, as well as in the Naval Air Reserves, and retired at the rank of Captain. 

During Colón-Ruiz’s military career he was deployed to Afghanistan where he suffered serious injuries in the line duty. He was awarded the prestigious purple heart by then President George W. Bush and received an Infantry Badge and Army Commendations medal.

“It was an absolute pleasure working with Michael and his entire team at Village Farms Fresh. Their support of our show helps us provide these life changing makeovers for our deserving Veterans and we’re grateful to have had them on Military Makeover,” said Scott Moss, President & EVP of Programming for Military Makeover and BrandStar Entertainment.

A group of Village Farms Fresh employees who reside in the Dallas Fort Worth area, where the company has a Distribution Center, volunteered their weekend to help in the renovation of the veteran’s home. The company has a history of giving back to communities in Texas and feels a strong affinity to helping veterans, not to mention has several veterans in the company, including one who volunteered that day to help with the renovation. 

Village Farms Fresh volunteer team with Village Farms International Inc., President and CEO, Mike DeGiglio

Brandon Jamison, Director of Quality Assurance for the company and Army veteran who served in Iraq, had this to say, “The military taught me a work ethic and a need for a sense of mission completion. Village Farms Fresh giving back to those that are deserving and have made sacrifices for our country is something I am proud to be a part of.”

Village Farms Fresh’s heritage as a long-standing continuously-owned tomato greenhouse grower as well as the largest tomato producer in the Great State of Texas was discussed by DeGigilio with show co-host Art Edmonds during this episode.

pictured left to right: Michael DeGiglio, U.S Navy, Brandon Jamison, U.S Army deployed in Iraq

The afternoon of volunteer work would not have been complete without a Texas style bar-b-que in the backyard of the veteran’s home cooked up by a local chef while the teams finished up their efforts. The Village Farms Fresh volunteers and Military Makeover crew devoured the food served featuring local produce grown at the company’s environmentally friendly Texas greenhouses. Juicy Beefsteak® tomatoes were the main course of a scrumptious BLT sandwich.  While a mouth-watering Caprese salad was served featuring Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes. Yummy Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes were grill-roasted then slathered in chimichurri sauce.  All made for a tasty and productive afternoon of Village Farms Fresh’s giving back. 

pictured left to right: Village Farms Fresh volunteers, Derin Gemmel and Taylor DeLeon with Military Makeover designer, Jennifer Bertrand,
Mike DeGiglio behind the camera, Sinfully Sweet Campari Caprese salad

The heartfelt mission of the day on this volunteer weekend left a feel-good impression for all who attended.  The company gifted the family handpicked items for their new kitchen including a huge basket of Village Farms produce along with culinary accompaniments for the family to prepare their favorite healthy dishes. Taylor DeLeon, Quality Control and Sales Administrator for the company, who was a volunteer that day and helped with the staging of these items in the veteran’s new kitchen had this to say, “It was a joyful afternoon full of grit and fun.  I am proud the company championed this valuable effort to help a well deserving veteran who gave to his country so selflessly”.

Socially responsible initiatives such as this partnership with Military Makeover showcasing Village Farms Fresh’s giving back to the communities it serves, and especially veterans, have always been important to the company in their Great Home State of Texas. To view our 2 min segment in the episode please click here.

About Military Makeover with Montel®

A BrandStar Original, is America’s leading branded reality TV show that offers hope and a helping hand here on the home front to members of our military and their loved ones. A veteran of both the Marine Corps and the Navy, talk show legend and military advocate Montel Williams, who creatively co-produces the show along with a colorful cast that seeks to transform the homes and lives of military families across the country. The cast includes co-hosts Art Edmonds and designer Jennifer Bertrand. This special series enlists caring companies of all sizes as well as non-profits and the local community. Military Makeover airs on Lifetime® and on the American Forces Network which serves American servicemen and women, Department of Defense and other U.S. government civilians and their families stationed at bases overseas, as well as U.S. Navy ships at sea. Help starts at home for veterans on Military Makeover. Join us as our makeover team engages to change the living situation – and the lives – of these deserving families.

About BrandStar  

We’re matchmakers; connecting People to Brands to Do Life Better. BrandStar has unparalleled experience in creating customized educational content for brands with laser targeted extensive distribution through their multi-channel network ecosystem and methodology. From Original television programming on Lifetime,, social media, digital marketing, to media management and PR; BrandStar helps brands connect with the right consumer, at the right time, with the right message, through all the right channels.

About Village Farms Fresh

Village Farms Fresh, a wholly owned subsidiary of Village Farms International, Inc. (Nasdaq: VFF), is one of the largest growers, marketers, and distributors of premium-quality, greenhouse-grown fruits, and vegetables in North America. The food the company’s farmers grow is all harvested by hand from environmentally friendly, soil-less, glass greenhouses daily while utilizing the highest level of food safety standards available. The Village Farms Greenhouse Grown® brand of fruits and vegetables are marketed and distributed primarily to local retail grocers and dedicated fresh food distributors throughout the United States and Canada. Since its inception, Village Farms Fresh has been guided by sustainability principles that enable the company to grow food 365 days a year that not only feeds the growing population but is healthier for people and the planet. Village Farms Fresh is Good for the Earth® and good for you. Good for the Earth® and Garden Fresh Flavor® are not only taglines for the company but the value proposition Village Farms Fresh lives by.  And this is why it Takes a Village® to deliver on this promise.