Eckrich®, Operation Homefront, Dollar General, and Country Music Artist Karla Davis Partner to Honor Local Military Family

Davis Takes the Stage to Surprise the Hughes Family with a Year of Free Groceries

Smithfield, Virginia, UNITED STATES

NASHVILLE, Tenn., June 12, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Eckrich®, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and savory deli meats, partnered with Dollar General, Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit that serves America’s military families, and Eckrich country music brand ambassador Karla Davis to honor a Mount Juliet, Tenn. military family on Saturday. Eckrich surprised the Hughes family after Davis’ performance at Tootsies Honky Tonk Alley in Nashville, Tenn. to thank them for their service.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

During the event, Davis and Dan MacDonald, senior director of corporate communications for Dollar General, presented the family with a gift card for a year of free groceries at the local Dollar General, valued at more than $10,000.

Dustin Hughes served in the Marines for 14 years, deploying to Iraq for nearly a year in 2004. He retired as a Gunnery Sergeant in 2015, and received numerous awards including the Joint Service Commendation Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal. He and his wife, Lindsey, have three young children. Lindsey is 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.

"It’s a big deal to have the support of companies like Eckrich," said Dustin Hughes. "Free groceries for a year is a very large way to say ‘thank you,’ and we are so appreciative of this gift."

The surprise is part of the ongoing campaign by Eckrich to honor, thank, and support military families through its partnership with Operation Homefront. Now in its sixth year of partnership with Operation Homefront, Eckrich has donated more than $2.5 million to support the organization’s mission to build strong, stable, and secure military families so they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect.

“It was an honor to recognize the Hughes family this past weekend and show our support and appreciation for their service,” said Michael Paribello, Smithfield Foods senior director of marketing. “Eckrich was grateful for the partnership of Dollar General and Karla Davis during this special event, and we hope the gift of groceries helped convey our gratitude to Dustin, Lindsey, and their children.”

Davis’ performance at Tootsies was part of her partnership with Eckrich after winning the brand’s Music City Sing Off competition last year. Her grand prize included the opportunity to record a single with Grammy-nominated producer Dave Brainard, which she debuted during the evening. Fans can follow Davis’ journey as an Eckrich brand ambassador via an exclusive video series at

“It means a lot to me personally to be able to meet families like the Hughes and hear their stories,” said Davis. “It’s one of the most special parts of being a country music brand ambassador for Eckrich.”
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 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

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