WARMINSTER, Penn., June 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- W. Atlee Burpee Co. will join celebrity guests to honor American military personnel at the opening ceremony of the 19th season of the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Farmers Market. Burpee, a heritage seed company, will share 2000 sets of its Welcome Home Gardens with veterans and the public attending the event, held at the USDA Headquarters at 12th and Independence Ave., S. W. in Washington D.C., Friday, June 6, at 9.30 a.m.
The Welcome Home Garden project was created by Burpee's chairman and chief executive officer, George Ball and his longtime friend, Miryana Navarro-Monzo, to serve as a healing tool for recently returned troops from the wars in Iran and Afghanistan. Now in its third year, the project has given 165,000 military families a package for a garden containing three flower and nine vegetable Burpee seed packets (valued at $25, each garden can conservatively produce over $2000 worth of vegetables). Navarro-Monzo will attend the opening event with Burpee's senior executive vice president and chief financial officer, Benjamin Lacson, and president and chief operating officer, Chris Romas.
"We are honored to be part of this special opening ceremony at the USDA Farmers Market," said George Ball. "The Welcome Home Gardens are a sincere expression of gratitude for our veterans, and of hope for their future as they return to their families."
"To come up with this idea was the easy part," says Navarro-Monzo. "Thanks to the generous heart of George Ball and Burpee, the funding was also easy. The hard part was finding a way to distribute the seeds to our veterans, until my friends at the USDA opened their doors for this project through the Military Family Program and then the floodgates were opened to us, for which we are so grateful," she noted.
The USDA Farmers Market is run by the Agricultural Marketing Service, and is part of USDA's continued effort to support rural America and provide nationwide access to healthy foods every day via more than 8,100 farmers markets across the nation.
SOURCE W. Atlee Burpee & Co.