WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has appointed Spencer A. Coates to serve on the National Commission on Hunger. Coates is president of Bowling Green, Ky.-based Houchens Industries Inc., a diversified employee-owned company operating in the grocery, convenience store and foodservice industries.
As a part of the 2014 Appropriations Bill, Congress created a National Commission on Hunger, composed of 10 members to advise Congress and the Secretary of Agriculture how to "more effectively use existing programs and funds" to combat domestic hunger; how to modernize and improve the federal government food assistance programs, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants & Children (WIC) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); and to develop "innovative public-private partnerships."
"Spencer is a great fit for this new commission," McConnell said. "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."
Coates said, "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. 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."
Established in 1917 in Glasgow, Ky., Houchens Industries is one of the largest 100% employee owned companies in the United States. Along with several grocery store chains, Houchens owns more than 50 Jr. Food Stores convenience stores, IGA Express convenience and fuel outlets and Shell gas stations and c-stores; Crossroads IGA Markets, which combine conventional grocery stores and convenience stores with a take-home meal offer; and several quick-service restaurant (QSR) chains. It is also the largest Save a Lot limited-assortment retailer franchisee in the country. Its also owns the Pan-Osten supermarket and convenience store fixture distribution company. Houchens also operates businesses in insurance, manufacturing, web development, construction, paving, trucking, recycling, tanning supply distribution, optical stores, financial services and property management. Its business operate primarily in Kentucky and Tennessee, as well as nationwide.
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