Eckrich Gives Back to Military Families at University of Southern California Football Game

Contestant Throws Pass for Chance to Share $1 Million With Five Military Families

Eckrich partnered with Ralphs to Honor Five Military Families at the USC College Football Game

All Receive FREE Groceries for One Year

LISLE, Ill., Nov. 30, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- During one of the most anticipated games in college football, five military families and nearly 100,000 University of Southern California fans anxiously watched as Brittany Powers, a grand prize winner of a consumer sweepstakes held by Eckrich, attempted to complete a 25-yard pass through a standing 15-inch target on the field of the Los Angeles Memorial Stadium. Although the pass just missed short, it didn’t lessen the excitement that came with honoring the inspiring military families that didn’t walk away disappointed.

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at

The five families, all guests of Eckrich, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and savory deli meats, and Operation Homefront were surprised earlier that day during a special pre-game tailgate. Eckrich presented each family with a gift of one year of free groceries at Ralphs, worth over $13,000 for each family, courtesy of Eckrich.

The military families, represented by Operation Homefront, a national non-profit whose mission is to build strong, stable and secure military families, had no idea of the day’s events when they were invited to the tailgate. The delighted families were then introduced to Powers, who then explained to the families that she would be throwing the on-field pass for the opportunity to not only win herself a half-million-dollar annuity but also up to $100,000 toward the home mortgage of each military family- a million dollar throw!

Saturday afternoon’s celebration is part of an ongoing campaign by Eckrich to honor, thank and support military families.

Honored were Luis Chuquillanqui and his family from Adelanto, Calif., Ruth Mccallister and her family from Bonita, Calif., Misti Beasley and her family from Lemoore, Calif., Carlos Pena and his family from Victorville, Calif., and Steve Roque and his family from Big Bear City, Calif.

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

“This has been a great day to celebrate five deserving families as part of the Eckrich campaign to recognize and thank military families,” said Chuck Gitkin, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Smithfield Foods. “Although the throw just missed, we made sure that the families left the stadium a winner.

“It was our privilege to give each family one year of free groceries at Ralphs and have them join us for the game. For Powers effort on the field and representing our military families, we are proud to give her free groceries for one year as well. We can’t thank our military families enough and hope they enjoyed their special moment at the big game in Los Angeles.”

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

Contacts: Jeff Dennison Breaking Limits for Eckrich 2137 South Blvd., Suite 200 Charlotte, N.C. 28203 Cell: 704-252-3356 E-Mail:

Source:Smithfield Foods