Eckrich, Operation Homefront and Celebrity BBQ Pitmaster Moe Cason Partner to Honor Military Family

LISLE, Ill., May 23, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Eckrich, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and savory deli meats, partnered with Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families, and BBQ Pitmaster Moe Cason to honor a Pea Ridge, Ark. military family on Saturday.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Eckrich hosted a special presentation at Smithfield’s “Grilling for a Cure” event in Bentonville, Ark. to honor, thank and support the Lobato family. The family was surprised with a gift of $5,000 in free groceries at Walmart, courtesy of Eckrich. Celebrity BBQ Pitmaster Moe Cason also participated in the presentation and thanked the family for their service.

As part of the event, attendees were treated to samples of delicious Eckrich smoked sausage and deli meat and a cooking demonstration by Cason. He is also partnering with Smithfield for “Grilling for a Cure” to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

“What Eckrich did was wonderful. I’m glad to be a part of it,” said Cason. “I was in the military myself, so I know the trials and tribulations of being in the service.”

Roger Lobato served as a Specialist in the Army for more than three years and was deployed to Afghanistan. His wife, Karen, is his caregiver and a member of the Operation Homefront Hearts of Valor® program. The family has two children.

“We really value what Eckrich is doing,” said Roger Lobato. “We need people looking after our service members, so when I see a company like Eckrich doing that, it means the world to me.”

The surprise is part of the ongoing campaign by Eckrich to honor, thank and support military families through its partnership with Operation Homefront. The Lobato 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, a brand a Smithfield Foods, 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 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 Moe Cason’s partnership and support for military families. We are proud to thank the Lobato family for their service and to present them with $5,000 in 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®, 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

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

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

Source:Smithfield Foods