WACO—House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, appointed Jeremy Everett, director of the Texas Hunger Initiative, to the National Commission on Hunger.
Established by Congress in January, the National Commission on Hunger is charged with providing policy recommendations to Congress regarding programs and funds to combat domestic hunger and food insecurity.
The commission also will develop recommendations to encourage public-private partnerships, faith-based sector engagement and community initiatives to reduce the need for government nutrition assistance programs, while protecting the safety net for society’s most vulnerable members.
The Texas Hunger Initiative is a collaborative project developed in the Baylor University School of Social Work in cooperation with the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission. It develops and implements strategies to end hunger through policy, education, research, community organizing and community development.
“This is the first time Congress has appointed a commission to address hunger, and I feel both honored to be chosen by Congress for the commission and a sense of responsibility to those living with hunger and in poverty to ensure a better quality of life for all Americans,” Everett said, noting the commission’s work fits with Baylor’s “Pro Futuris” mission to address systemic social problems. “What better first step than to work to ensure that all people have enough to eat?”
Elizabeth Davis, executive vice president and provost at Baylor, called Everett’s appointment “a credit to his exemplary leadership of the Texas Hunger Initiative and his passion for addressing hunger from both the policy and grassroots levels.”
The Texas Hunger Initiative operates 12 regional offices in Amarillo, Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, Lubbock, McAllen, San Angelo, San Antonio, Tyler and Waco.
In 2013, the Texas Hunger Initiative received a $3.5 million Community Partnership Program annual contract from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to develop a statewide public-private partnership that expands access to food and health care for low-income families through community-based research and programs.
It also received a $2 million grant from the Walmart Foundation for a team of multidisciplinary researchers with the Texas Hunger Initiative and Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business. They study summer and afterschool federal child nutrition programs to determine how to improve them, such as develop a fiscally sustainable year-round business model that can be replicated throughout the nation.
Along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Texas Hunger Initiative hosts the annual national Together at the Table: Hunger and Poverty Summit. It convenes leaders and practitioners to share their knowledge and expertise about food insecurity and the goal of ending hunger.
The National Commission on Hunger is made up of 10 people—three appointed by the Speaker of the House; two by the House minority leader; three by the Senate majority leader and two by the Senate minority leader.