• Meet Baylor’s nationally recognized expert on food insecurity and economics

    Portrait of Dr. Craig Gundersen

    There are many approaches to fighting food insecurity. Dr. Craig Gundersen brings an economist’s eye to the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty (BCHP), supporting the organization’s efforts to end hunger through his expertise on publicly funded nutrition programs. His highly impactful work made him a nationally recognized researcher; his faith made him a perfect fit when Baylor came calling.

    Gundersen joined the Baylor faculty in 2021 to serve as the inaugural Jim & Tammy Snee Family Chair in Food Security. He came to Baylor after stints at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Iowa State University and the University of Illinois. His focus has long been on strategies to address food insecurity — evaluating the causes and consequences of food insecurity, and studying specific programs and approaches to address those challenges.

    Gundersen’s game-changing research into the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program’s (SNAP) effectiveness positively impacted the program’s perception, and metrics he developed help food banks across the nation evaluate how well they’re serving those in need. At Baylor, he serves in both the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty and the Department of Economics.

    While the Snee Chair provides a prestigious and well-funded position from which to do his research, Gundersen’s motivation is rooted in something deeper:

    “The reason why BCHP is doing this work — the reason why Baylor is so supportive of BCHP — is at base because of our Christian faith, that we feel called to help those who are in need,” he says. “There are a lot of secular institutions doing interesting work on this, but I really wanted to be at a place where faith is first and foremost.”

    Sic ’em, Dr. Gundersen!