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Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food group, a subsidiary of Virginia-based Smithfield Foods, has formed a partnership with Operation Homefront, a nonprofit organization providing emergency financial assistance to the families of U.S. 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. Additionally, to celebrate and honor military families across the country, the two organizations are hosting a series of local-market events.
“Creating special family moments is ingrained into our company’s mission and values,” said Joseph Sebring, president of Lisle, Ill.-based John Morrell Food Group. “That’s why we’re giving back and supporting this cause.”
Since food assistance is the top request that Operation Homefront receives from military families, Eckrich has joined with the organization to help out through the formation of the Eckrich Food Assistance Fund.
Additionally, Eckrich and Operation Homefront Military Family Thank You Days provide military families with a much-needed break in the form of traditional American cookouts. Each event features food, outdoor games and music.
Eckrich spokesman Kirk Herbstreit, Emmy Award-winning analyst for ESPN’s “College GameDay,” was on hand to kick off the program April 28 in Operation Homefront’s headquarters of San Antonio. Locations for other events include Dallas; Oklahoma City; Fort Riley, Kan.; Nashville; Atlanta; Columbus; and Bentonville, Ark.
“Military families truly sacrifice so much in honor of our country,” noted 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.”
The partnership is backed by a broader Eckrich marketing campaign encompassing TV, radio, online and out-of-home advertising, as well as employing Facebook to tell military families’ stories in further detail via social media.
“We truly believe in this partnership and what it means to military families,” said Charles Gitkin, John Morrell Food Group VP, marketing, innovation and R&D. “Therefore, Eckrich and the John Morrell Food Group are … investing more than $8 million toward this program to further raise awareness of military families’ needs.”