Eckrich, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and deli meats and a brand of Smithfield Foods, recently partnered with Albertsons and former professional football player Todd Heap to show their appreciation to a local military family in a special way. The Koss family, who lives in Peoria, Arizona, was surprised by Heap outside their local Albertsons and presented with a gift of free groceries for one year, courtesy of Eckrich.
Heap, an Arizona native who played college football at Arizona State University before moving up to play professional football for 12 seasons, says he was honored to represent Eckrich in his home state.
“I’m proud to partner with Eckrich to support the Koss family,” said Heap. “There’s a huge place in my heart for our military families and the service they’ve given to all of us. It was important to partner with Eckrich so I could come here and give back.”
The gift of groceries is part of the ongoing campaign by Eckrich to honor, thank and support military families through its partnership with Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable and secure military families.
Eckrich, in its fourth year of partnership with Operation Homefront, recently surpassed $1 million in donations since 2012.
Retired Army Pvt. 1st Class Robert Koss, his wife Christine and their two young daughters have made sacrifices worthy of recognition by Eckrich. Koss served in the Army for two years and was medically separated due to injuries suffered during his service. Now at home in Arizona, he volunteers at a local veteran’s center to give back to other retired service members. Christine participates in Operation Homefront’s Hearts of Valor program as his caregiver.
“We are proud to continue to honor our military families across the country,” said Chuck Gitkin, SVP of marketing at Smithfield Foods. “Our partners at Albertsons share in our commitment. It is our honor to provide the Koss family with one year of free groceries.”