Tour de Meat; 2nd Spamerican Tour aims to thank veterans, fans

Published 10:36 am Wednesday, April 27, 2016

People line up for Spam Goodies from the Spamerican Tour, during the Tribeca Family Festival. Photos provided by Hormel

People line up for Spam Goodies from the Spamerican Tour, during the Tribeca Family Festival. Photos provided by Hormel

Spam is back on the road to salute current and former military members and thank its fans.

The Spamerican Tour kicked off its second year last week, and the tour will feature a Spam food truck stopping at 16 locations across the country through August.

“The tour this year is all about our gratitude and we’re thanking America for making us this great brand for the last 79 years,” said Nicole Behne, Hormel Foods Corp.’s marketing director for grocery products.

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But Hormel will also thank chefs for contributing to the tour and, most importantly, will be thanking military members for the service.

Fans mail off letters at the Spamerica Tour.

Fans mail off letters at the Spamerica Tour.

This year, Hormel Foods Corp. is looking to give back to those who have serve and are serving in the U.S. Military.

Hormel is partnering with Operation Gratitude, which has sent millions of care packages to troops, recruits and retired military members. Operation Gratitude’s goal is to send $2 million care packages by 2018.

“We’re honored to partner with Operation Gratitude for the return of the Spamerican Tour,” said Jennifer Nolander, Spam brand manager, in a press release. “The Spam brand has a long tradition of supporting our nation’s military at home and abroad beginning with World War II, and we are honored to bring aboard a veteran like Sunny Anderson to help Operation Gratitude achieve its mission by providing an easy way for communities to give back to those who proudly serve us every day.”

Behne said she has strong family ties to the military, so she’s proud that the company is thanking people for their service.

“To be able to do this program is something personally that I am very, very proud of, and Hormel is a great supporter of the military,” Behne said.

She noted the company does a lot of work to help military members transition back into the workforce, and the company has made the Best for Vets list by the Military Times, which recognizes the best places for veterans to work.

Fans get their picture taken with Sir Can-A-Lot at the Tribeca Family Festival.

Fans get their picture taken with Sir Can-A-Lot at the Tribeca Family Festival.

Throughout the Spamerican Tour, Hormel will have a letter-writing station with postcards people can fill out to send to troops or any soldier. People can also write a letter online for troops.

“For every letter that’s written, we’re donating a dollar to Operation Gratitude to help fund their efforts,” Behne said.

The tour kicked off April 23 at the Tribeca Family Festival in New York. Its next stop on the 16-stop tour is at the Stagecoach Music Festival in San Diego, California, April 29 to May 3.

The tour then makes its first of multiple stops at military bases on May 9 when it stops at Travis Air Force Base.

“We’re incorporating military bases along the way,” Behne said.

The tour will reach Austin on July 28 and 29 for Hormel Foods’ 125th anniversary celebration. The tour will end Aug. 1 to 8 at the Uptown Art Fair in Minneapolis

Like last year’s debut tour, Hormel will again partner with Food Network Host and U.S. Air Force veteran Sunny Anderson, who is showcasing a Operation Spam Gravy with Biscuits recipe. The tour will again partner with a local chef on each stop to share another Spam-themed recipe.

“Sunny’s back on the tour and talking about her love for the Spam brand,” Behne said.

Other local recipe samples to be featured during the tour will include the “Father of Southern Cuisine” Dean Fearing, James Beard pastry chef Gale Gand and noted TV chef Chris Kyler.

Spamerican Tour

•New York, New York: April 23 — Tribeca Family Festival

•San Diego, California: April 29- May 3 — Stagecoach Music Festival

•San Francisco, California: May 9 — Travis Air Force Base and Lucky – Daly City, California

•Denver, Colorado: May 14 — Big Wonderful

•Dallas, Texas: May 19-22 — Wildflower Arts and Music Festival

•San Antonio, Texas: Lackland Air Force Base

•Baton Rouge, Louisiana: May 27-29 — Bayou Superfest

•Nashville, Tennessee: June 6-12 — Fort Campbell and CMA Festival

•Raleigh, North Carolina: June 16-18 — Peak City Pig Fest

•Norfolk, Virginia: June 24-26 — Norfolk Navy and Bayoo Boogaloo Cajun Festival

•Columbus, Ohio: July 1-3 — Red, White and Boom

•Indianapolis, Indiana: July 6-10 — Three Rivers Festival

•Chicago, Illinois: July 15-17 — Windy City Smokeout

•Twin Lakes, Wisconsin: July 21-24 — Country Thunder

•Austin, Minnesota: July 28-29 — Hormel Foods 125th Anniversary

•Minneapolis, Minnesota: Aug. 1-8 — Uptown Art Fair