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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appointed Spencer A. Coates, president of Houchens Industries Inc., to serve on the National Commission on Hunger. Houchens owns and operates convenience store brands Jr. Food Stores and Tobacco Shoppe, along with multiple supermarket chains.
The commission consists of 10 individuals selected by members of Congressional leadership. It will make recommendations to Congress and the Secretary of Agriculture on how to modernize and improve federal government food assistance programs, including the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, according to Sen. McConnell's office.
"Spencer is a great fit for this new commission," stated McConnell. "He has front-line experience dealing with how and where people use food assistance programs, and I fully expect that he will be able to offer insightful recommendations as to how these programs can be modernized and improved."
Bowling Green, Ky.-based Houchens is a diversified employee-owned corporation that employs 18,000 individuals and owns companies that do business in all 50 states.
"I appreciate Senate McConnell's confidence in selecting me to serve on the Commission. The food assistance program is important for families and children continuing on the path to economic recovery in Kentucky and nationwide," said Coates. "I look forward to developing ideas to modernize these programs and provide stewardship over these public funds to ensure a sustainable program that better serves those families and children in need."
Coates also serves on the National Grocers' Association's board of directors.