Photo Release -- Eckrich Honors Ohio Military Family During Marc's Store Re-Opening Celebration

LISLE, Ill., Aug. 15, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Eckrich, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and savory deli meats, and Marc's Grocery Store and Pharmacy partnered to make Saturday's grand re-opening of the Marc's store in Massillon, Ohio, a celebration to remember. Local Army National Guard member Sergeant Jesus Santiago and his family were invited as special guests of Eckrich to enjoy the festivities, but were then surprised with a gift card for $1,000 in free groceries at Marc's, courtesy of Eckrich.

Eckrich honors the Santiago family with $1000 in free groceries at Marc's.

A photo accompanying this release is available at

Sergeant Santiago joined the Army in February 2004 and was quickly deployed to Baghdad, Iraq, that December. He served as a combat engineer in search of I.E.D's. Now, a member of the Army National Guard as a weapons and explosives technician, he enjoys spending time with his wife and six children at their home in Cleveland.

The gift of groceries is part of the ongoing campaign by Eckrich to honor, thank and support military families through its partnership with Operation Homefront, a national non-profit that provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. Eckrich, in its fourth year of supporting Operation Homefront, recently surpassed $1 million in monetary donations since the start of the program in 2012. Eckrich is a brand of Smithfield Foods.

"Like Eckrich, Marc's is a great supporter of our military families," said Chuck Gitkin, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Smithfield Foods. "We have greatly appreciated their partnership in honoring Ohio military families this summer. Eckrich is proud to recognize the Santiago family and thank them for their sacrifices."

In addition to the family's surprise, the local Massillon Tiger Swing Band Drumline performed a 30-minute set for the honorees and guests.

For more information about Eckrich and this 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: Laura Pugh Breaking Limits for Eckrich 2137 South Blvd., Suite 200 Charlotte, N.C. 28203 Direct: 704-766-9061 Cell: 704-728-4091 E-Mail:

Source:Smithfield Foods, Inc.