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Co-founder Pam Rodgers leaving Burnet County Hunger Alliance

Jaelyn Nelson and Pam Rodgers

Pam Rodgers (right) received flowers and a congratulatory plaque from members of the Burnet County Hunger Alliance at her last meeting as facilitator Tuesday, May 10. Taking over the position is Jaelyn Nelson (left), who has been working with Rodgers for the past year under the AmeriCorps VISTA program. Staff photo by Suzanne Freeman

Pam Rodgers is stepping down as head of the Burnet County Hunger Alliance, an entity she helped found six years ago. The alliance is a group of food pantries, churches, school administrators, and community leaders working together to end hunger in the Highland Lakes. 

Rodgers was presented with a plaque and flowers honoring her service during a regular meeting of the alliance on Tuesday, May 10. The group meets quarterly. 

Jaelyn Nelson will take over the position. She has worked the past year for the Highland Lakes Crisis Network and the alliance under the AmeriCorps VISTA program. The Burnet County Hunger Alliance has been under the umbrella of the Crisis Network for about a year now, making it eligible to apply for grants. 

“This is my last meeting of the Hunger Alliance,” Rodgers said at the end of the meeting. “It has been a pleasure to have been facilitator for — guess what? — six years.”

The alliance celebrates its sixth anniversary in July 2022. 

“What is really wonderful is that now it is a community thing,” she continued, referring to its roots as a project of Trinity Episcopal Church in Marble Falls. “We are talking to each other. Neighbors are talking to neighbors. That means that all of you help each other out and you share resources.”

Some of the most recent accomplishments include a new food pantry in Cottonwood Shores and a monthly mobile food pantry in Hoover’s Valley

“Hoover Valley is an area we’ve worked very hard to cover,” Rodgers said. “This is our first success. We’ve tried things in the past, and this is our success.” 

Others at the meeting had a few things to say about Rodgers’ devotion to the Hunger Alliance.

“If you knew the amount of work this woman puts into this, it’s incredible,” Nelson said. 

“I’ve gotten to see up close and personal how much work this woman has put into this project for the last six years, day after day, month after month,” said Sam Pearce, executive director of The Helping Center in Marble Falls. “Pam, thank you so much from all of us. You have done amazing work of getting this organized.” 

Rodgers had no answer to the question of what’s next for her. 

“It’s like a book. When you finish one chapter … there is another one right after it,” she said. “I have enjoyed working with all you.”