Television Special Honors Inspiring Military Families

Eckrich® thanks military families with "Operation Inspiration"

Jun 18, 2013, 10:12 ET from Eckrich

LISLE, Ill., June 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The stories of three inspiring military families will air on NBC stations in major markets across the country this month in a special sponsored by Eckrich and hosted by national television personality Al Roker. The special will also feature special guests, including NASCAR's legendary "The King" Richard Petty and #43 driver Aric Almirola.

Like thousands of U.S. military personnel and their families, the Lobban, Gallageos and Bowen families faced challenges while their loved ones were fighting for our country or when returning to civilian life. To help families overcome these types of challenges, Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, has partnered with Operation Homefront to launch "Operation Inspiration," a campaign designed to honor, thank and support the military families who inspire us.

"Eckrich is proud to support Operation Homefront for the second consecutive year, and we are extremely excited about initiating 'Operation Inspiration' as a way to provide assistance to inspiring military families," said Charles Gitkin, Vice President, Marketing, Innovation and R&D for the John Morrell Food Group.

"Meeting these families and hearing their stories was remarkable," said Roker. "We helped each family in their own special way based on their unique circumstances -- a backyard makeover, a new car and even a home -- to families in Fayetteville, NC, San Antonio, TX and Atlanta, GA. The sacrifices these families have made are phenomenal, and what we have been able to do for them via Operation Inspiration is just one small way to say 'thank you'."

To watch a preview of the TV special and a see a list of the markets and show times airing it, go to or

To help support America's military families, text 'INSPIRE' to 27722* to donate $5 to Operation Homefront.

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 Operation Homefront 
A national nonprofit, Operation Homefront leads more than 6,500 volunteers with nationwide presence that provide emergency and other financial assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. Operation Homefront has met more than 741,000 needs of military families since its inception in 2002. A four-star rated charity by watchdog Charity Navigator, nationally, 94 percent of total revenue donated to Operation Homefront goes directly to programs that provide support to our military families. For more information, go to

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 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®, 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 and

*Charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. Must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to participate. Message and Data Rates May Apply. Text STOP to 27722 to STOP. Text HELP to 27722 for HELP. Full Terms: Privacy Policy:

SOURCE Eckrich