Bacon Lovers Deli Meats by Eckrich Establishes New GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® Achievement Makes 2,706 Hero Sandwiches to Honor Our Military Heroes

NEW YORK, May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading into the country's most patriotic holiday weekend, Bacon Lovers Deli Meats by Eckrich honored and assisted our military families and wounded warriors on the flight deck of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum located in New York City today. 

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With the help of more than 100 volunteers and participants from Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit providing emergency financial and food assistance to military veterans, wounded warriors and their families, Eckrich made 2,706 hero sandwiches in one hour to receive a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® certificate.  Eckrich Bacon Lovers Deli Meats then immediately donated more than half of the sandwiches to Operation Homefront.  The remaining sandwiches were donated to City Harvest in New York City.

The new record by Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, beat the old mark of 1,660 and was a part of "Operation Inspiration," a campaign by Eckrich designed to honor, thank and support the military families who inspire their fellow Americans.  Through the ongoing "Operation Inspiration" campaign, Eckrich will donate 5 cents for every purchase of specially marked products from May 1 through July 4, 2013, up to $250,000.  It's the second year of Eckrich's partnership with Operation Homefront, but today's endeavor was one of its largest events to date.

"Bacon Lovers Deli Meats has proven to be a brand known to break barriers," said Chuck Gitkin, vice president, marketing, innovation and R&D for the John Morrell Food Group.  "We saw that again with our GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS achievement.  More important, however, is the fact that we did this to honor and support our military veterans and their families.  We donated a lot of sandwiches that will assist those military families in need.  That's what our 'Operation Inspiration' campaign is all about and we're proud to honor our true heroes."

The Bacon Lovers Deli Meats sandwiches were made on hero rolls donated by New York City business MRS Baking Distribution with lettuce donated by Fresh Express, a division of Chiquita.  Cheese, provided by The Deli Source, was the other filling used to satisfy the required guidelines of two ingredients.  The new record was judged by an official GUINNESS WORLDS RECORDS Adjudicator who was on site to judge and count the sandwiches.

Over the past year, through donations provided by Eckrich, Operation Homefront has met the needs of more than 100,000 families in all military branches of service.  Today's event is a huge step in adding to those needs.

"Eckrich continues to step up and find exciting ways to honor and assist our military families and wounded warriors," said Jim Knotts, CEO of Operation Homefront.  "Today's GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS feat was one that truly defines how committed they are as a partner. We've been honored to be the recipient of all the great things 'Operation Inspiration' is doing and today is just another example of how far Eckrich will go to give back to our military members and families in need."

The 2,706 sandwiches were made with 1,200 pounds of Bacon Lovers Bacon Covered Club, one of the five varieties offered in the line. More than 6,000 slices of cheese were shipped in to New York City as well as more than 168 pounds of lettuce.  The sandwiches were made by local Operation Homefront volunteers and military members from New York City and New Jersey.

About Smithfield Foods
Smithfield Foods is a $13 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®, Farmland®, Armour®, Cook's®, Gwaltney®, John Morrell®, Kretschmar®, Curly's®, Carando®, Margherita®, 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 www.smithfieldfoods.com and www.smithfieldcommitments.com.

About John Morrell Food Group 
With over a century and a half of experience, John Morrell Food Group brands have become respected and well known for providing premium-quality meat products to families across the United States. With products ranging from lunchmeat and franks to smoked sausage, bacon and pepperoni, the John Morrell Food Group is an important part of consumers' mealtimes. The John Morrell Food Group offers several national and regional brands including Armour®, Eckrich®, John Morrell®, Curly's®, Patrick Cudahy®, Carando®, Healthy Ones®, Margherita® Kretschmar® and LunchMakers®.

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 Operation Homefront
A national nonprofit, Operation Homefront leads more than 6,500 volunteers, with nationwide presence, and has met more than 741,000 needs of military families since 2002. A four-star rated charity by watchdog Charity Navigator, nationally, 94 percent of total revenue donated to Operation Homefront goes directly to assist service members. More information is available at www.operationhomefront.net.    

SOURCE Eckrich



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