Meet Baylor’s nationally recognized expert on fighting hunger
Whether in the halls of Congress or the streets of Waco, Jeremy Everett, MDiv ’01, spends his days addressing a topic that has become a burning passion — fighting hunger. Everett is the founder and executive director of Baylor’s Texas Hunger Initiative (THI), an organization that began in a small office in a Baylor parking garage in 2009. Its humble roots belied a bold mission — fighting food insecurity all across Texas.
In the eight years since its founding, THI has worked towards that goal in ways both creative and straightforward, facilitating hundreds of millions of additional meals for Texans and earning national recognition in the process. Everett has shepherded THI, housed within the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, as it has grown to included eight offices around the state and formed partnerships with federal and state agencies, school districts, congregations and more to address food insecurity from every angle.
The goal is two-fold: to help eradicate hunger in Texas, and to do so through a model that can be replicated elsewhere. Already, some 25 other states have consulted with THI on their strategies for implementing programs that help the more than 4 million Texans who fight food insecurity receive access to healthy meals. That input has established Everett as a leader at both the state and national levels.
In 2014, the National Commission on Hunger was formed to assist Congress in the fight against food insecurity nationwide. Everett was one of the commission’s 10 members, giving him the opportunity to help shape policy and provide lawmakers with a better understanding of the problems those battling food insecurity face.
The accolades are nice, but the benefits to THI that come from increased visibility and productivity are even better. Everett has helped THI raise more than $30 million to fight hunger in the last eight years. But a real sense of what drives Everett comes from his vision of what THI can do, a vision others in Washington and in the media feel as he shares his expertise on the subject.
“The greater end is in figuring out how to bring about the kingdom of God here on earth by ending hunger in Texas with the help of Baylor’s internal capabilities,” Everett told Baylor Magazine. “Being anchored here gives us the ideal climate to achieve that goal through authentic, informed engagement.”
Sic ’em, Jeremy Everett!