Eckrich, Operation Homefront, and H-E-B Honor Marlin, Tex. Military Family

LISLE, Ill., Nov. 04, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Eckrich, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and savory deli meats, partnered with H-E-B Grocery Stores and Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families, to honor a Texas military family.

The Parker Family Receives One Year of Free Groceries, Courtesy of Eckrich

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

To thank and support the Parkers for their service and sacrifice, Eckrich surprised the family with a gift of free groceries for a year at H-E-B, valued at over $13,000, as well as tickets to the Texas Christian University and Baylor University game on Saturday.

Desmond Parker served three years as a Unit Supply Specialist in the United States Army during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He earned multiple medals and awards for his service. Parker and his wife, Lisa, have been married for nine years and have three children together.

“This gift from Eckrich means the world to us and we appreciate everything they do for military families,” said Parker. “Our family will never forget this special day.”

This surprise is part of an ongoing campaign by Eckrich to honor, thank, and support military families through its partnership with Operation Homefront. The Parker family is supported by Operation Homefront’s Hearts of Valor® program, a network of more than 3,000 caregivers which provides annual retreats, support groups, and online communities.

Friday’s event is also part of the Eckrich “Road to the National Championship” program, where a military family is honored at 13 of the biggest college football games of the year. Eckrich, now in its fifth year of partnership with Operation Homefront, has already donated more than $2.5 million since 2012.

“Each week, Eckrich is proud to continue its mission to honor military families all across the country,” said Jennifer Zmrhal, Smithfield Foods senior director of marketing. “The sacrifices made by the Parker family is just another example of why our military families deserve to be recognized. It is a privilege to have the Parker family join us today and we are pleased to present them with free groceries for one year.”

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

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

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