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Photo Release -- Military Family Surprised by Eckrich, Kroger and Country Music Star Randy Houser

LISLE, Ill., July 20, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Thanks to Eckrich, a brand of Smithfield Foods and the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and savory deli meats, retired Army Specialist Christopher Warren and his family were honored by chart-topping, Platinum-selling country music star Randy Houser Saturday night at the Kick The Dust Up Tour stop at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.



Randy Houser Presents Warren Family with One Year of Free Groceries at Kroger, courtesy of Eckrich.


A photo accompanying this release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=34576

Warren, who was awarded a Purple Heart for his service in the Army, and his wife Amy were escorted backstage before the show to meet the country singer who surprised the family with a gift of one year of free groceries at Kroger, courtesy of Eckrich. Houser then took the stage and wowed the crowd with his signature powerhouse vocals and a hit-filled set that included the smash hits "How Country Feels," "Runnin' Outta Moonlight," "Goodnight Kiss" and "Like A Cowboy," as well as Houser's brand new single from a forthcoming album, "We Went."

The gift of groceries at Kroger and the opportunity to meet one of country music's most popular entertainers are part of the Eckrich campaign to honor, thank and support military families through its partnership with Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit that provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. Houser is in his second year of helping Eckrich pay tribute to military families by hosting and honoring them at his concerts. A longtime supporter of the military and their families, Houser has also performed for service members stationed in Iraq and at an Operation Homefront Village in Gaithersburg, Md.

"Army Specialist Christopher Warren risked his own life to protect this country and having the opportunity to personally thank him for his service means so much to me," said Houser. "These families have sacrificed so much so I can go out and perform and do what I love. It was great to meet the Warren family, hear their story and have them enjoy the concert courtesy of my partner, Eckrich."

Eckrich, in its fourth year of supporting Operation Homefront, recently surpassed $1 million in donations since the start of the program in 2012.

"Like Eckrich, Kroger and Randy are great supporters of our military families," said Chuck Gitkin, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Smithfield Foods. "We are thankful for their service and are honored to surprise them with an exciting experience backstage with Randy Houser and a year of free groceries at Kroger."

For more information about Eckrich please visit www.facebook.com/EckrichMeats.

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 www.eckrich.com.

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 www.smithfieldfoods.com.

About Randy Houser

With an inimitable voice the New York Times describes as "wholly different, thicker and more throbbing, a caldron bubbling over," Randy Houser racked up three consecutive No. 1 hits and more than four million in singles sales to date with his Stoney Creek Records album, How Country Feels. He topped the charts with the title track, "Runnin' Outta Moonlight" and "Goodnight Kiss" (also his first No. 1 as a songwriter) and earned critical acclaim for his powerful delivery of the Top 5 smash, "Like A Cowboy." Houser's new single, "We Went," is available at country radio and digital retailers now, with a new album forthcoming. He is currently touring with Luke Bryan on the Kick The Dust Up Tour. For more information, visit www.RandyHouser.com.

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 www.OperationHomefront.net.

The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress.

CONTACT: Jeff Dennison Breaking Limits for Eckrich 2137 South Blvd. Suite 200 Charlotte, NC 28203 Direct: 704-766-9061 Cell: 704-252-3356 E-Mail: jdennison@breakinglimits.net Media Contact for Randy Houser Ebie McFarland / Stephanie Rew Essential Broadcast Media P.O. Box 120921 Nashville, TN 37212 Direct: 615-327-3259 E-Mail: ebie@ebmediapr.com / stephanie@ebmediapr.com

Source:Smithfield Foods, Inc.