Eckrich, Operation Homefront and Safeway Team Up to Honor Military Family

LISLE, Ill., March 31, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Eckrich, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and savory deli meats, partnered with Safeway and Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families, to honor a Colorado Springs, Colo. military family on Tuesday.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Eckrich hosted a special presentation outside a local Safeway in Fountain, Colo. to honor, thank and support the Huddleston family. The family was surprised with a gift of free groceries for one year at Safeway, courtesy of Eckrich.

As part of the event, crowds of shoppers were treated to samples of delicious Eckrich smoked sausage and deli meat, live country music and an appearance by Colorado’s Hit Country music radio station 96.9. In addition, Eckrich provided local military service members and their families with $25 Safeway gift cards to thank them for their service.

Army Sergeant First Class Ronie Huddleston is medically retired after serving in the United States Army for 20 years. In 2005, Ronie sustained numerous injuries when his squad was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED). Ronie’s wife, Elizabeth, volunteers for Operation Homefront’s Hearts of Valor® program and runs a support group for caregivers. The family has two children and three grandchildren at home.

“For companies like Eckrich to give from their heart to non-profits that directly support the troops and their families is an amazing thing,” said Ronie Huddleston. “ Because it's not just us, it's our family, too.”

The surprise is part of the ongoing campaign by Eckrich to honor, thank and support military families through its partnership with Operation Homefront. The Huddleston family is supported by Operation Homefront’s Hearts of Valor® program, a network of caregivers for wounded, ill or injured service members. Operation Homefront supports these caregivers through annual retreats, support groups and online communities.

Eckrich, entering its fifth year of partnership with Operation Homefront, has donated more than $2 million to the organization since 2012. Eckrich is a brand of Smithfield Foods.

“Eckrich continues to thank, support and honor our military families across the country,” said Chuck Gitkin, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Smithfield Foods. “We appreciate Safeway’s partnership in this event. We thank the Huddleston family for their service and are proud to present them with one year of free groceries.”

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 $14 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

Contact: Faye Shroff Breaking Limits for Eckrich Cell: (704) 591-4353 E-Mail:

Source:Smithfield Foods