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Eckrich, Operation Homefront and Country Music Star Randy Houser Honor Dallas Military Family

LISLE, Ill., Aug. 22, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Eckrich, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and savory deli meats, partnered with Kroger and Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families, to honor a Dallas, Tex. military family on Saturday night.





A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/777539b0-1ed7-428a-9bf4-996ad5057e59

Joining them for the surprise event was a special guest, platinum-selling country music star Randy Houser. Eckrich and Houser invited the Blackman family backstage before his performance and surprised them with a gift of $5,000 in free groceries from Kroger.

Together, Eckrich and Houser have partnered to honor U.S. military families since 2014. Houser is known for top hits including his four No. 1 singles “How Country Feels,” “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight,” “Goodnight Kiss” and “We Went” as well as the Top 5 smash “Like A Cowboy.” He recently released his fourth studio album, Fired Up, via Stoney Creek Records. The 17-song project follows Houser’s breakthrough album, How Country Feels, and features his latest No. 1 hit “We Went” and new single, “Chasing Down a Good Time.”

“It was an honor to meet the Blackman family and have the opportunity to thank them for their service,” said Houser. “I’m proud to partner with Eckrich to honor our military families all across the country. This is a wonderful experience and it’s awesome that we can thank and support them with free groceries.”

Staff Sergeant Steve Blackman served seven years as a Calvary Scout in the United States Army. Steve’s wife, Shauna, is his caregiver.

"This is such a special surprise for our family," said Blackman. "We would like to thank Eckrich, Randy Houser, and Kroger for this wonderful gift."

The event is part of the ongoing campaign by Eckrich to honor, thank and support military families through its partnership with Operation Homefront. The Blackman family is supported by Operation Homefront’s Hearts of Valor® program, a network of nearly 3,000 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 $2.5 million to the organization since 2012.

“The Blackman family serves as another example of a military family who deserve to be recognized,” said Chuck Gitkin, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Smithfield Foods. “Our partnership with Randy Houser continues to allow us to honor, thank and support military families in a special way. We hope this gift of $5,000 in free groceries at Kroger will serve as a token of our appreciation for the Blackman family.”

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®, 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 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.

About Randy Houser
With an inimitable voice the New York Times describes as “wholly different, thicker and more throbbing, a caldron bubbling over,” Randy Houser racked up three consecutive No. 1 hits and more than four million in singles sales to date with his Stoney Creek Records album, How Country Feels. He topped the charts with the title track, “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight” and “Goodnight Kiss” (also his first No. 1 as a songwriter) and earned critical acclaim for his powerful delivery of the Top 5 smash and CMA Song of the Year-nominated "Like A Cowboy." Houser added a fourth No. 1 to his catalogue with “We Went” from his latest album, Fired Up, and recently released a new single, “Chasing Down A Good Time.” He is currently on the Somewhere On A Beach Tour with Dierks Bentley. For more information, visit www.RandyHouser.com or follow on Twitter @RandyHouser and www.Facebook.com/RandyHouser.

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: jdennison@beakinglimits.net Media Contacts for Randy Houser Ebie McFarland / Stephanie Rew Essential Broadcast Media P.O. Box 120921 Nashville, TN 37212 Direct: 615-327-3259 E-Mail: ebie@ebmediapr.com / stephanie@ebmediapr.com

Source:Smithfield Foods