The offer from Eckrich to join the team came with official team crew shirts and hats for the Morgan family. But, there was more. Eckrich then presented the family with a gift of free groceries for one year at Kroger. The groceries will help the Morgans who are parents of two young children.
Eckrich, a brand of Smithfield Foods, will host Sergeant Morgan and his wife Saturday at the race track with an insider look at the No. 43 Eckrich race team. The family will join the team on the starting grid before the race and split their time during the race between the team's pit box and a luxury suite.
"It's an honor to represent Eckrich and Richard Petty Motorsports to help recognize our military families,'" said Almirola. "Each time Eckrich surprises a military family, it's awesome to see their reaction. It's also exciting to know that Eckrich is making a difference in their lives. It makes me feel proud to be a part of what they are doing."
Sergeant Morgan is currently active duty and serving in Dallas. He has been enlisted in the Army since 2007 and has been deployed to Iraq to serve our country. Morgan and his wife were humbled by today's events.
"It's heartwarming," Morgan said. "This just makes us feel supported and it's an awesome experience. I joked that maybe we'd be getting something, but we never thought all this would happen. We're really looking forward to this weekend."
The race experience and gift of free groceries is part of Eckrich's ongoing partnership with Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit that provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. Over the past three years, Eckrich has donated more than $750,000 to the organization and from May 1st through July 4th, Eckrich will again donate five cents for every purchase of specially marked products up to $250,000.
"Eckrich is proud to honor and thank our military families," said Chuck Gitkin, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Smithfield Foods. "We are also committed to our program and continue to aid our military families and give them once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and experiences. We couldn't do it without the help and support from partners like Operation Homefront, Aric Almirola, Richard Petty Motorsports and Kroger."