Eckrich, Operation Homefront and FoodMaxx Partner to Honor Military Family

LISLE, Ill., April 11, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Eckrich, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and savory deli meats, joined FoodMaxx and Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families, to honor a Daly City, Calif. military family Sunday night.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Three-time American Country Award winner, country music singer Easton Corbin welcomed the Valdez family backstage before his concert in Oakland and surprised them with a gift of $5,000 in free groceries at FoodMaxx, courtesy of Eckrich. The Valdez family then watched Corbin perform during the Storyteller Tour headlined by Carrie Underwood.

"I’m humbled to join Eckrich and Operation Homefront in their efforts to give back to our military families,” said Corbin. “We are able to perform because of the sacrifices that families like the Valdez family has made for us. I hope they enjoy their gift from Eckrich and FoodMaxx.”

Keoni Valdez served five years in the United States Navy from 2003 to 2008. During his time in service, Keoni sustained multiple injuries that have made it extremely difficult to perform everyday tasks. He also suffers from PTSD. Keoni’s wife, Arezoo, serves as Keoni’s full-time caregiver and is the mother of their two young children.

“This is a night to remember,” said Keoni Valdez. “We were just happy for a night out together and never expected to receive free groceries. This gift from Eckrich and FoodMaxx is going to help our family in many ways.”

The event is part of the ongoing campaign by Eckrich to honor, thank and support military families through its partnership with Operation Homefront. The Valdez 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, in 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.

“We thank Easton Corbin for helping us honor our military families,” said Chuck Gitkin, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Smithfield Foods. “We also appreciate FoodMaxx partnering with us as we give a special thanks to the Valdez family for their sacrifice. We hope they enjoy $5,000 in free groceries courtesy of Eckrich.”

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

About Easton Corbin
Mercury Nashville recording artist Easton Corbin is lauded for his traditional country sound, authentic lyrics and mastery of understatement. American Songwriter says, "Easton Corbin has one of those rare, glorious voices that was made—just made—for singing country music.” His self-titled debut album released in 2010 and spawned back-to-back hits “A Little More Country Than That” and “Roll With It;” making him the first country male artist in 17 years to have his first two consecutive singles reach No. 1. In 2012 the Gilchrist County Florida native released his sophomore album, All Over The Road, which included the Top 5 hits “Lovin’ You Is Fun” and “All Over The Road.” Corbin set a career-best debut on Country Airplay with his top 5 hit single, “Baby Be My Love Song," from his No. 1 debuting album About To Get Real. His current single “Yup” is climbing the country singles chart. Corbin is currently on tour with Carrie Underwood’s The Storyteller Tour.

Contacts: Hannah Meadors Breaking Limits for Eckrich 2137 South Blvd., Suite 200 Charlotte, N.C. 28203 Direct: 704-766-9065 Cell: 434-250-4770 E-Mail:

Source:Smithfield Foods