Jimmy Wright to testify before Senate regarding online use of SNAP benefits

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By Morgan Bryce
Staff Reporter

Jimmy Wright, owner of Wright’s Market, will testify before the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Agriculture Sept. 14 about his plans for implementing a new, online-purchasing version of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP).
According to the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services website, SNAP “offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities. SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net.”
Wright’s Market was one of 10 retailers selected nationally in January to participate in the first phase of the new online program, which is slated to launch in early 2018. Other stores chosen were national chains like Amazon, Dash’s Market and Walmart.
Wright, who testified last April before the U.S House Agriculture Committee, said he is excited to tell his story and his plans for improving the effectiveness of SNAP to a panel which includes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other long-tenured senators including Patrick Leahy and Chuck Grassley.
“… I tell people this all the time – I still think when a guy from a little bitty grocery store in Opelika, Alabama can go and sit in front of elected officials in Washington (D.C.) and tell his story, I think America still works,” Wright said. “No matter what you see in the news, I still think there are plenty of really good people in Washington (D.C) that are trying desperately to do the right thing in the midst of all that goes on.”
Wright said he plans to discuss his idea with the panel of combining the online SNAP with his Wright2U delivery service, and the addition of a free healthcare component.
“We hope to be able to use the online SNAP program and our online delivery service in concert together, to help reach SNAP customers in rural areas. That will help provide access to fresh food for elderly who have no transportation,” Wright said. “We’re also going to have a healthcare component with that where we’ll have someone from the healthcare field on our delivery vehicles. Not only can we deliver food, but they’ll be able to do some health screenings and stuff like that.”
Wright said they will partner with East Alabama Medical Center to provide healthcare professionals for the route.
The hearing is slated to begin at 10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, and can be watched in review on www.agriculture.senate.gov.
For more information, email Wright at wrightsmarkets@aol.com.

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