Eckrich®, Operation Homefront, Jewel-Osco, and Former Professional Baseball Player Partner to Honor Local Military Family

LISLE, Ill., June 29, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Eckrich®, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and savory deli meats, partnered with Jewel-Osco, Operation Homefront, and former Chicago Cubs Outfielder David DeJesus to honor an Oswego, Ill. military family on Thursday.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Eckrich presented the Cotto family with a special surprise to thank the family for their service during the recent grand opening of the new Jewel-Osco grocery store in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago. During the event, DeJesus joined Eckrich to present the family with a gift of groceries for a year at Jewel-Osco, valued at more than $10,000.

A professional baseball player for more than a decade, DeJesus retired earlier this year to become a baseball analyst for a regional cable network.

“It’s such an honor to partner with Eckrich to say thank you to the Cotto family today,” said DeJesus. “This is a wonderful gift that will allow them to get what they need, and it relieves a financial burden.”

Victor Cotto served in the U.S. Army for six years as a food service specialist. During his service, Victor was awarded several medals and ribbons including a Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. Victor and his wife, Rose, have been together for 19 years and have two children. Rose is Victor’s full-time caregiver, and she’s also a member of the Operation Homefront 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.

“This gift from Eckrich is a blessing and it will help us tremendously,” said Victor Cotto. “It’s incredible there are companies out there that are helping veterans and their families like this.”

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 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 that they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect.

“Eckrich is proud to partner with Jewel-Osco and David DeJesus to honor this very special military family,” said Michael Paribello, Smithfield Foods senior director of marketing. “The Cotto family has sacrificed so much in service to our country, and this gift of groceries serves as a small sign of our appreciation for all that they have given.”

“This is a special day for the Cotto family and we are honored to be a part of it,” said Doug Cygan, President of Jewel-Osco. “Victor Cotto has demonstrated an exemplary commitment to our country and we are thankful for his service.”

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 Jewel-Osco:
Established in 1899, Jewel-Osco, owned by New Albertsons, Inc., is becoming the favorite food and drug retailer in every market throughout the Chicagoland area. They operate 186 stores in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa, employing 31,000 associates while continuing to grow. Find more company information at and follow their social channels at,, and

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

CONTACT: Contact:
Faye Shroff
Breaking Limits for Eckrich
2137 South Blvd., Suite 200
Charlotte, N.C. 28203
Direct: 704-766-9062
Cell: 704-591-4353
E-Mail: [email protected]

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