By Lori Fogleman
Jeremy Everett, who directs an initiative with Texas Baptist ties to develop strategies to end hunger, has been appointed to the 10-member National Commission on Hunger, established by Congress in January.
Everett, who was named by House Speaker John Boehner, heads the Texas Hunger Initiative, a collaborative project of Baylor University’s School of Social Work and the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission. The initiative works to end hunger through policy, education, research, community organizing and community development.
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.
“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. “What better first step than to work to ensure that all people have enough to eat.”
The Texas Hunger Initiative operates 12 regional offices in the state. Last year it 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 initiative and Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business. They study summer and after-school federal child nutrition programs to determine how to improve them.
Along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Texas Hunger Initiative hosts the annual Together at the Table: Hunger and Poverty Summit. It convenes national 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.