Eckrich, Operation Homefront and Dollar General Honor Military Family

LISLE, Ill., July 27, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Eckrich, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and savory deli meats, partnered with Dollar General and Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families, to honor a Tennessee military family this morning.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Eckrich surprised the Waldorf family inside a Dollar General store in Madison, Tennessee on Tuesday. The family was presented with tickets to see Ole Miss take on Georgia later this fall.

To ensure the family is prepared for all of their grocery needs over the next year, the family was also presented with a surprise gift of free groceries for one year at Dollar General on behalf of Eckrich.

Sergeant Ryan Waldorf served honorably for seven years in the United States Army as a fire specialist and in artillery. His wife, Catherine, became Ryan's caregiver in 2011. Together they have five children, including a son in the Navy.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our family," said Ryan Waldorf. "It is amazing that Eckrich and Dollar General honor and support military families in such a special way. We did not know what to expect, but this was amazing. We just want to thank everyone involved."

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

Today’s event is also part of the Eckrich Road to the National Championship program where a military family will be honored at 13 of the biggest college football games of the year. In addition, ESPN College GameDay host Kirk Herbstreit will make a $1 Million throw to support Operation Homefront at the 2017 National Championship game in Tampa, Fla. Eckrich, a brand of Smithfield Foods, is now in its fifth year of partnership with Operation Homefront and has donated more than $2.5 million since 2012.

“As Eckrich kicks off its 2016 college football program, we are proud to be honoring our military families at some of the most exciting college games all season,” said Chuck Gitkin, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Smithfield Foods. “Today, with Dollar General, we are pleased to thank the Waldorf family for their service.”

For more information about Eckrich, please visit or follow Eckrich on Facebook and Twitter.

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®, John Morrell®, Cook's®, Kretschmar®, Gwaltney®, Curly's®, Margherita®, Carando®, Healthy Ones®, Krakus®, Morliny®, and Berlinki®. 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 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

About Dollar General
Dollar General Corporation has been delivering value to shoppers for over 75 years through its mission of Serving Others. Dollar General helps shoppers Save time. Save money. Every day!® by offering products that are frequently used and replenished, such as food, snacks, health and beauty aids, cleaning supplies, basic apparel, housewares and seasonal items at low everyday prices in convenient neighborhood locations. With 12,719 stores in 43 states as of April 29, 2016, Dollar General is among the largest discount retailers in the United States. In addition to high quality private brands, Dollar General sells products from America's most-trusted manufacturers such as Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark, Unilever, Kellogg's, General Mills, Nabisco, Hanes, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola. Learn more about Dollar General at

Contacts: Jeff Dennison Breaking Limits for Eckrich 2137 South Blvd., Suite 200 Charlotte, N.C. 28203 Direct: 704-766-9061 Cell: 704-252-3356 E-Mail:

Source:Smithfield Foods