Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty Receives $250K Gift from Whitsons Culinary Group for Hunger Outreach Programs

June 23, 2023

by Craig Nash

Waco, TX— The Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty (Baylor Collaborative) has received a $250K gift from Whitsons Culinary Group to support its Hunger Outreach Program Empowerment (HOPE) team. The HOPE Team works to expand access to publicly funded nutrition programs of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), building upon the Baylor Collaborative’s fourteen years of progress in strengthening food security among the nation’s children.

According to Jeremy Everett, Executive Director of the Baylor Collaborative, the Whitsons partnership developed from a shared belief that everyone deserves enough healthy food to survive and thrive. He noted, “The Whitsons team has provided excellent food service options to the education, healthcare, and community markets for many years. They understand that creating robust food systems for all people requires purposeful cooperation between the public and private sectors.” Everett added, “Multisectoral collaboration is one of the key tools we use at the Baylor Collaborative to cultivate scalable solutions to end hunger. This partnership is a natural one that we believe will be transformative.”

The Baylor Collaborative has focused much of its food security work on expanding access to federal child nutrition programs such as school breakfast and lunch, after-school meals, and the Summer Food Service Program. Their strategy has included consulting with service providers to hone and disseminate best practices, evaluating program effectiveness, and working with policymakers to expand the reach of these programs. Through this work, they have become highly regarded and sought-after experts on strengthening food security among vulnerable populations.

John Puder, Director of the HOPE Team, described the work of the Baylor Collaborative, noting, “Publicly funded nutrition programs are crucial to cultivating scalable solutions to end hunger. We work with a wide range of stakeholders to maximize the benefits of child nutrition programs.”

Among their many accomplishments, the Baylor Collaborative’s role as experts in these programs led to the creation of Meals-to-You, a meal-delivery option designed for rural schoolchildren without access to traditional summer meal programs. The program has opened the door to new ways to operate publicly funded nutrition programs. Puder added, “USDA’s Food Nutrition Services manages numerous initiatives to get healthy food to those who need it most. The skills we have developed over the years with child nutrition programs can also be utilized to improve other interventions. We are thankful for the Whitsons partnership that will allow us to apply what we have learned in more exciting and innovative ways to continue strengthening food security in the communities where we work.”

The Whitsons team is also looking forward to the positive impact of this new partnership. “Whitsons is proud to support the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty as their mission is perfectly aligned with our mission to Enhance Life One Meal at a Time™. We believe in the Baylor Collaborative’s goal to create scalable solutions to end hunger,” said Paul Whitcomb, Whitsons President & CEO. “Our team is looking forward to collaborating on new ways to provide our nation’s youth with nourishing meals because no child should be deprived of access to healthy food and the chance to succeed in life.”


The Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty believes a world without hunger is possible. Their mission is to make this possibility a reality by cultivating scalable solutions to end hunger. To achieve this, they utilize the distinct but overlapping tools of Public Service and Innovation, Research and Education, and Public Affairs and Strategic Partnerships. Housed within Baylor University, an R1 Institution in Waco, TX, their team of community organizers, researchers, and policy experts work tirelessly to strengthen food security domestically and globally.