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Aug 03, 2016

Trinity, Marble Falls Commits to End Hunger in County

Community partners met recently at Trinity, Marble Falls to begin planning how they can cooperate to end hunger in Burnett County. 

Jesus taught that to feed the hungry is to care for him (Matthew 25:35). In response to this call, Trinity Church in Marble Falls initiated a partnership with multiple organizations to address hunger in Burnet County.

 

In June, Trinity hosted the area’s first Hunger Summit, which brought together local food pantries, government officials, church representatives, non-profit organizations and school districts. The meeting was a key milestone in coordinating the county-wide effort.

 

The effort was initiated by Trinity member Pam Rodgers, after hearing a presentation by Jeremy Everett, the executive director of the Texas Hunger Initiative (THI) at Baylor University. THI works at the federal, state and local levels to bridge the gap between the resources that exist and the people who need them. A key component of THI’s approach is to form community coalitions to identify needs and develop solutions.

 

Inspired by Rodgers, and with a strong history of community outreach, took the lead in establishing a community task force. For two years, Trinity members have held formal and informal conversations within the parish and across Burnet County to build relationships and identify specific needs and resources. “The effort has been careful and strategic,” said the Rev. Cathy Boyd, associate rector of Trinity. “We’ve been supported by Hunger Initiative staff, as well as the diocese’s Episcopal Health Foundation.”

 

EHF’s assistance cannot be overstated, explained Madeleine Manigold, chair of Trinity’s Ministry & Outreach Commission. “The focus of their training was on listening and building relationships [with our partners],” she said. By the time the Hunger Summit was held on June 20, “Participants felt wanted, included and knew that we were serious about this issue. We asked each representative, ‘How did you come to the issue of hunger, with your head or your heart?’ Beginning with that question got us off to a compassionate, deep level of sharing almost immediately,” Manigold said.

 

The coalition will finalize mission and vision statements and study data on hunger in Burnet County and then develop the most comprehensive approach possible.

 

“By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Trinity has begun a good work which will feed Christ in the world,” Boyd concluded.

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