There was a celebration in Cincinnati for more than just Kroger employees on Tuesday. Eckrich, the maker of smoked sausage and deli meats, hosted NASCAR driver Aric Almirola at Kroger’s headquarters. While making the visit, Eckrich and Almirola surprised medically retired Army Spc. John Dietz and his family with one year of free groceries at Kroger.
Almirola, who races the No. 43 Eckrich Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, made the presentation in the Kroger lobby, where there were more than 500 Kroger employees who showed their appreciation for the Dietz family.
Eckrich and Almirola have partnered to honor military families throughout the country, honoring and thanking them for their service in special ways. A father of two, Almirola appreciates the sacrifices of military families and is honored to help take part in the surprise.
“It’s always fun to work with Eckrich to honor and thank our military families,” said Almirola. “You always see surprise and then big smiles on their faces. That’s really what it’s all about and it’s cool that Eckrich does this for our military families who have sacrificed for our freedom. It’s a great program and I’m really proud to represent Eckrich and Richard Petty Motorsports in this cause.”
The surprise and gift are part of the ongoing campaign by Eckrich to honor, thank and support military families through its partnership with Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit that provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. Eckrich, in its fourth year of partnership with Operation Homefront, recently surpassed $1 million in donations since 2012.
Dietz served honorably for five and half years, including two years overseas. Dietz now treasures his time with his wife and two children in Cincinnati. With his wife as his full-time caregiver, Dietz and his family participate in Operation Homefront’s Hearts of Valor program.
“Eckrich is dedicated to honoring military families and we appreciate that Aric Almirola and Kroger are partnering with us to recognize the Dietz family,” said Chuck Gitkin, SVP of marketing for Smithfield Foods. “Today’s event, in front of hundreds of Kroger employees, made for a truly special moment for the Dietz family.”
Eckrich is a brand of Smithfield Foods.