Photo Release -- Eckrich and Martin's Super Markets Honor Military Family at B100's 21st Birthday Party

LISLE, Ill., Sept. 14, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- It's not a birthday bash without gifts. And, Eckrich, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and savory deli meats, Martin's Super Markets and Operation Homefront helped present an unforgettable one to a local South Bend, Ind. military family on Sunday.

Representatives from Eckrich and Martin's Super Markets presented the Cole Family with a $5,000 Martin's gift card, courtesy of Eckrich. From L-R: Jeff Wandzel (Eckrich), Michael and Krysta Cole (Operation Homefront Military Family), and Dave Mayfield (Martin's Super Markets)

A photo accompanying this release is available at

Eckrich invited the Cole family to the Martin's Super Markets VIP tailgate at B100's 21st Birthday Party, the Indiana radio station's 21st celebration and all-day concert. Just as the party got underway with Cody and Deb from B100's morning show, Eckrich brought the family on stage and presented them with the gift of $5,000 in free groceries at Martin's Super Markets, on behalf of Eckrich.

Sergeant Michael Cole enlisted in the U.S. Army National Guard in May of 2011, and is still serving, holding the position of Medical Sergeant and squad leader. He and his wife, Krysta, have one child, who is nearly two years old.

"I don't know what to think, say or do," said Michael after the surprise on Sunday. "Thanks to Martin's and Eckrich. This is a big help for me and my family, you really don't even know how much. I've watched Operation Homefront, as well as Martin's and Eckrich help out veterans that are disabled and, I can't thank you enough."

The day's events are part of the ongoing campaign by Eckrich to honor, thank and support military families through its partnership with Operation Homefront, a national non-profit whose mission is to build strong, stable and secure military families.

Eckrich, in its fourth year of partnership with Operation Homefront, recently surpassed $1 million in donations since 2012.

"Eckrich continues to recognize and support military families throughout the country," said Chuck Gitkin, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Smithfield Foods. "It is an honor to provide the Cole family with a special day at the concert, complete with $5,000 in free groceries at Martin's Super Markets to show our thanks."

For more information about Eckrich please visit Eckrich is a brand of Smithfield Foods.

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, N.C. 28203 Direct: 704-766-9061 Cell: 704-252-3356 E-Mail:

Source:Smithfield Foods, Inc.