Photo Release -- Eckrich Achieves Landmark Donation to Operation Homefront

LISLE, Ill., July 8, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In a culmination of four years of partnership, Eckrich today announced it has reached a cumulative cash donation of $1 million to Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit that provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors.

As part of the campaign, Country Music Star Randy Houser presented military family Richard and Kerry Neider with Free Groceries for One Year this past December in Tucson, Arizona.

A photo accompanying this release is available at

As a part of the relationship, Eckrich, a brand of Smithfield Foods and the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and deli meats, has donated five cents from the purchase of specially marked products during certain time periods since 2012 to Operation Homefront.

The campaign receives support throughout the year from some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment, including NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winner Aric Almirola, NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee and American icon, Richard Petty, Platinum-selling country music star Randy Houser and Emmy Award winning ESPN/ABC college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit.

"We are proud to have reached this significant milestone through our partnership with Operation Homefront," said Chuck Gitkin, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Smithfield Foods. "We remain committed to supporting our military families who have sacrificed so much."

The monies raised through the campaign support military families via Operation Homefront. The organization provides relief to avert financial crisis through emergency aid, enhances resiliency through housing and caregiver programs and provides family support services that help alleviate some of the natural strains inherent with military life.

"Reaching the $1 million milestone is a testament to the commitment Eckrich has made in helping us support military families," said Brig Gen (ret) John I. Pray, Jr., president and CEO, Operation Homefront. "Our men and women in uniform serve on the front lines to protect the freedoms we enjoy daily in an increasingly complex world. Thanks to the incredible support of Eckrich and other like-minded donors we are able to provide highly valued programs that help them and their families remain strong, stable and secure."

For more information about the program, please visit

About Eckrich

Founded by Peter Eckrich in 1894, Eckrich has a rich heritage starting from a small meat market in Fort Wayne, Ind. Through it all, Eckrich meats have been recognized for their great taste and supreme quality, craftsmanship, care and pride. For more information, visit

About Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Farmland®, Armour®, Cook's®, John Morrell®, Gwaltney®, Nathan's Famous®, Kretschmar®, Margherita®, Curly's®, Carando® and Healthy Ones®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit

About Operation Homefront:

A national nonprofit, Operation Homefront leads more than 2,500 volunteers with nationwide presence who provide emergency and other financial assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. Operation Homefront has provided assistance to thousands of military families since its inception in 2002. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity watchdog groups, nationally, 92 percent of Operation Homefront's expenditures go directly to programs that provide support to our military families. For more information, go to

The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress.

CONTACT: Jeff Dennison Breaking Limits for Eckrich 2137 South Blvd., Suite 200 Charlotte, NC 2820 Direct: 704-766-9061 Cell: 704-252-3356 E-Mail:

Source:Smithfield Foods, Inc.