Eckrich®, Operation Homefront, Safeway, and Former Oregon State University Football Superstar Mike Hass Partnered to Honor Local Military Family

CORVALLIS, Ore., Oct. 11, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Eckrich®, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and perfectly seasoned deli meats, partnered with Safeway, Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit that serves America’s military families, and former Oregon State University football superstar Mike Hass to honor a local military family on Tuesday. The presentation was hosted by Eckrich to celebrate the Hetland family and award them with free groceries for one year, valued at more than $10,000.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Jeremy Hetland served honorably with the United States Army for 14 years as a Light Wheel Vehicle Mechanic, including during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, and received several awards and medals for his service. Jeremy and his wife, Nichole, have four children together. Nichole is Jeremy’s full-time caregiver and a member of 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.

“We are beyond grateful to receive this gift of free groceries for one year,” said Jeremy Hetland. “This gift will free up some extra money and will allow us to spend more time together as a family, and we could not thank Eckrich, Safeway, and Operation Homefront enough for that.”

“It’s a great feeling to be back in Corvallis to join Eckrich for this event,” said Mike Hass. “It’s is extremely important to support our service men and women, and I am honored to have met the Hetland family and helped to surprise them with a year of free groceries.”

The surprise is part of the ongoing campaign by Eckrich to honor military families through its partnership with Operation Homefront. Now in its sixth year of partnership, Eckrich has donated more than $3 million to support the organization’s mission to build strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect.’

“Eckrich has a long history of supporting our country’s military, and we are honored to present the Hetland family with free groceries for one year,” said Michael Baughman, Smithfield Foods director of marketing. “We are grateful for Safeway’s partnership and support of this event.”

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 $15 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 Albertsons Companies
Albertsons Companies is one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States, with both a strong local presence and national scale. The company operates stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 19 well-known banners including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, 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.

About Operation Homefront
Founded in 2002, Operation Homefront is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity oversight groups, 92 percent of Operation Homefront expenditures go directly to programs that support tens of thousands of military families each year. Operation Homefront provides critical financial assistance, transitional and permanent housing and family support services to prevent short-term needs from turning into chronic, long-term struggles. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the support from thousands of volunteers, Operation Homefront proudly serves America’s military families. For more information, go to

Hannah Meadors
Breaking Limits for Eckrich
2137 South Blvd., Suite 200
Charlotte, N.C. 28203
Cell: 434-250-4770

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