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A retired Methodist reverend had a stimulating idea: What if people who were able to donated their COVID-19 stimulus checks to those who needed it the most.

“We have our stimulus checks coming, and some of us feel we don’t need them, and the idea is: Why not start a movement that people in Burnet County contribute a part of or all of it to one of the local food pantries,” said the Rev. Dan Soloman. “These are agencies on the front line addressing hunger in the county.”

As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, American taxpayers are receiving up to $1,200 per adult for those making less than $99,000 ($198,000 if filing jointly) plus $500 per child under 17 or up to $3,400 for a family of four.

Soloman bounced his idea off the Rev. Ellen Ely of First United Methodist Church of Marble Falls and some friends. They not only thought it was a great concept, they also jumped on board to help initiate it.

“That’s just kind of how it developed,” Solomon said. “We want it to, you know, become a movement, and it looks like it’s beginning to take that shape.

“We want to get as many people we can to join in,” he added.

Those interested in donating can do so to the following food pantries:

  • LACare of Burnet, 507 W. Buchanan Drive, Burnet, TX 78611; 512-756-4422
  • The Helping Center of Marble Falls Area, 1315 Broadway, Marble Falls, TX 78654; 830-693-5689
  • Joseph’s Food Pantry, 706 N. Phillips Ranch Road, Granite Shoals, TX 78654; 830-220-2344
  • Llano Food Pantry, 1110 Berry St., Llano, TX 78643; 325-247-3721
  • Sharing the Harvest, 3435 RR 1431, Kingsland, TX 78639; 325-388-0620

These are only a handful of recommendations. Several Highland Lakes churches also operate food pantries.

Another option is the Highland Lakes Crisis Network, which offers short-term and long-term support for people going through crises, such as floods, fires, and, currently, pandemics. 

“We feel like hunger is a big issue in Burnet County and the Highland Lakes,” Solomon said. “A lot of people are affected by it, and we want to help them out through this movement.”