Eckrich, Operation Homefront and Albertsons Partner to Honor Military Family

LISLE, Ill., Oct. 21, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Eckrich, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and savory deli meats, teamed up with Albertsons and Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families, to honor a Murrieta, Calif. military family on Wednesday.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Eckrich and longtime ESPN SportsCenter Host Neil Everett surprised the Cummings family at the Albertsons Southern California headquarters in Fullerton, Calif. to honor, thank and support the family for their service. They were presented with a gift of free groceries for one year at Albertsons, valued at more than $13,000, courtesy of Eckrich.

“What an honor to be invited by Eckrich to be here today,” said Everett. “Helping surprise this family with free groceries for a year was a great moment and I’m really proud to be a part of it.”

Stephen Cummings served in the US Marine Corps for nearly 25 years, retiring as a first sergeant. He met his wife, Tamara, while he was serving in Niger in 1993. She is his full-time caregiver and leads a support group through Operation Homefront’s Hearts of Valor program, a network of more than 3,000 caregivers of wounded service members which provides annual retreats, support groups and online communities. The family has two children.

“It’s wonderful to know there are companies like Eckrich honoring and supporting military families,” said Tamara Cummings. “Eckrich is leading the way in recognizing service members for the work they’ve done for our country.”

The surprise is part of the ongoing campaign by Eckrich to honor, thank and support military families through its partnership with Operation Homefront. 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 across the country,” said Jennifer Zmrhal, Smithfield Foods Senior Director of Marketing. “We appreciate Albertsons’ partnership and we are honored to present the Cummings family with one year of free groceries.”

“This event was a great opportunity to partner with Eckrich to support military families,” said Jim Wallace, Vice President and General Manager, Pavilions. “We are proud to honor one of our local military heroes.”

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

About Albertsons, Vons & Pavilions
Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions operates 352 stores and has over 36,000 employees in Southern California. The Fullerton-based chain is a division of The Albertson’s Companies, one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States. With both a strong local presence and national scale, the parent company operates stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 19 well-known banners. In addition to Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions, the banners include Safeway, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs. Albertsons Companies is dedicated to helping people across the country live better lives. In 2015 alone, with the help of generous customers, Albertsons Companies and the Albertsons Companies Foundation gave more than $270 million in food and financial support to the more than 2,300 communities they serve, improving the lives of millions of people in the areas of hunger relief, education, cancer research and treatment, programs for people with disabilities, and veterans outreach. Albertsons Companies is committed to making a meaningful difference, neighborhood by neighborhood.

CONTACT: Contact:
Faye Shroff
Breaking Limits for Eckrich
Cell: (704) 591-4353