LISLE, Ill., April 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, today announced a partnership with Operation Homefront, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides emergency financial assistance to the families of United States service members and wounded warriors. Through the partnership, Eckrich will donate a portion from every purchase of specially marked products to Operation Homefront, up to $200,000. And, to celebrate and honor military families nationwide, the two organizations will host local-market events this spring and summer.
"Eckrich is proud and humbled to partner with Operation Homefront to help support America's military families," said Joseph Sebring, president, John Morrell Food Group. "Creating special family moments is ingrained into our company's mission and values. That's why we're giving back and supporting this cause."
Food assistance is the number 1 request that Operation Homefront receives from military families. As a food company, Eckrich felt it was their responsibility to help meet that need and have therefore partnered with Operation Homefront to provide support to military families through the formation of the Eckrich Food Assistance Fund.
Military Family Thank You Days
To give back to the families who have sacrificed so much, both when the military members are deployed and after they've returned home, Eckrich and Operation Homefront Military Family Thank You Days provide military families with a break from the everyday with a traditional American cook-out. Each event will feature families making memories by enjoying time with each other, great food, outdoor games and music.
Kirk Herbstreit, Emmy Award-winning analyst for ESPN's "College GameDay" and Eckrich spokesperson will help kick off the program in San Antonio, headquarters of Operation Homefront. Herbstreit, the game analyst for the Saturday Night College Football Game on ABC, is widely recognized as the voice and face of college football, and has served as Eckrich brand spokesperson since 2008.
In addition to the kick-off in San Antonio on April 28, events will be held for military families in the following markets:
- Oklahoma City
- Fort Riley, Kansas
- Bentonville, Ark.
"Military families truly sacrifice so much in honor of our country," said Iwonne Salvador, director of corporate relations at Operation Homefront. "To help our aid go even further, Operation Homefront is partnering with Eckrich to create strategic programs offering greater assistance."
Military Family Program Support
The partnership is supported with a broader Eckrich marketing campaign that features television, radio, online and out-of-home advertising, as well as utilizing Facebook to further tell military families' stories via social media.
"We truly believe in this partnership and what it means to military families," said Charles Gitkin, vice president, marketing, innovation and R&D for the John Morrell Food Group. "Therefore, Eckrich and the John Morrell Food Group are proud to be investing more than $8 million toward this program to further raise awareness of military families' needs."
To learn more about the program and view military family stories, visit www.Facebook.com/EckrichMeats.
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®.
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 4,500 volunteers across 23 Chapters and has met more than 590,000 needs 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.