Eckrich, Operation Homefront and Country Music Star Randy Houser Honor a Local Utah Military Family

LISLE, Ill., Sept. 19, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Eckrich, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and savory deli meats, partnered with Associated Food Stores and Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families, to honor a Salt Lake City military family on Saturday night.

Eckrich, Operation Homefront, Associated Food Stores and Randy Houser Surprise the Wick Family with $5,000 in Free Groceries

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

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

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 great to have the Wick family join me backstage and the chance to personally thank them for their service and sacrifice,” said Houser. “I’m grateful to be a part of this campaign. I hope this gift of free groceries will show the Wick family how much we appreciate the sacrifices they have made.”

Staff Sergeant Anthony Wick served honorably for more than a decade in the United States Army. Wick completed multiple tours overseas including two deployments to Iraq. Anthony and his wife Tiffany have been married for 10 years. They have five children.

“What an amazing surprise,” said Anthony Wick. “It really caught us off guard. There are a lot of people to thank, but especially to Eckrich, Operation Homefront and Associated Food Stores for this generous gift. It’s good to see the smiles on our kids face when they met Randy (Houser). It’s simply incredible and we are both honored and humbled.”

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

“Eckrich is proud to support military families,” said Jennifer Zmrhal, Senior Director, Marketing, Smithfield Foods. “Our partnership with Randy Houser allows us to honor, thank and support military families in a special way. Tonight, we were proud to surprise the Wick family with $5,000 in free groceries to Associated Food Stores to show our appreciation.”

For more information about Eckrich, please visit

Eckrich is a brand of Smithfield Foods.

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 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

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 or follow on Twitter @RandyHouser and

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: 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: /

Source:Smithfield Foods