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Eckrich, Operation Homefront and Safeway Partner to Honor Military Family

LISLE, Ill., May 06, 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 Lakewood, Wash. military family on Thursday.





Eckrich hosted a special presentation outside a Safeway store in Lakewood to honor, thank and support the Barnson 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 Seattle country radio station 100.7. In addition, Eckrich provided local military service members and their families with $25 Safeway gift cards to thank them for their service.

Christopher Barnson served honorably as a specialist in the Army for four years. He was deployed to Iraq as a combat engineer. His wife, Karen, is his caregiver and a member of the Operation Homefront Hearts of Valor® program. The family has three children.

“For Eckrich to do this for us is amazing,” said Christopher Barnson. “I’m glad that Eckrich is leading the way in recognizing service members. It means a lot to us.”

The surprise is part of the ongoing campaign by Eckrich to honor, thank and support military families through its partnership with Operation Homefront. The Barnson 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. Now through July 4th, Eckrich is donating 5 cents for every purchase of specially marked products, up to $500,000, to Operation Homefront to assist military families. 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. “These families make great sacrifices and we appreciate Safeway’s partnership and support for military families. Today, we were proud to thank the Barnson family for their service and to present them with one year of free groceries.”

For more information about Eckrich, please visit www.eckrich.com.

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 www.eckrich.com.

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®, Nathan's Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, Cook's®, John Morrell®, Gwaltney®, 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 www.smithfieldfoods.com.

About Operation Homefront
A national nonprofit, Operation Homefront builds strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. With more than 3,200 volunteers nationwide, Operation Homefront has provided assistance to tens of thousands of military families since its inception shortly after 9/11. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity oversight groups, 92 percent of Operation Homefront’s expenditures go directly to programs that provide support to our military families. For more information, go to www.OperationHomefront.net.

Contact: Faye Shroff Breaking Limits for Eckrich Cell: (704) 591-4353 E-Mail: fshroff@breakinglimits.net

Source:Smithfield Foods