The Samuel Dixon Family Health Center in Val Verde held its annual turkey drive for 70 families identified as needing food to celebrate Thanksgiving.
According to CEO Philip Solomon, the health center provided turkeys with the help of Grocery Outlet and former MP Christy Smith.
Christy Smith has stepped up significantly to help provide 70 Thanksgiving dinners for patients cared for at the health center and has donated a “substantial amount”, Solomon said.
The health center, over the years, has established a relationship with the families it treats and can identify families in need of Thanksgiving support.
Traditionally, the turkey drive provides dinners for over 100 families, but due to COVID-19 disruptions, there is a supply chain shortage, with many grocery stores unable to meet turkey demands.
Even with the shortage encountered, Solomon and the organization organized a food drive at Grocery Outlet. As a result, many community members donated accompanying ingredients and made cash donations.
“The community was great and gave us cash donations to buy turkeys and bought a lot of things on our list that we have here today,” Solomon said. “Again, Grocery Outlet, as one of our sponsors, has donated other items to give to our families.”
The Samuel Dixon Family Health Center has been providing services for more than 40 years, and Solomon said it’s essential to stay in touch with the community and offer more than health care.
“There are other needs patients have for themselves and their families, and we try to help by hosting events like this,” Solomon said.
Looking to the future, Solomon wants to build on the annual event and increase resources to provide more turkey dinners for the patients they care for in the community.
“Maybe in the next two years we can continue to grow this event, so we’re actually serving hundreds of Thanksgiving dinners for our families,” Solomon said.
Public Relations Coordinator Daisy Wyche helped organize and manage the turkey drive this year. She enlisted partners and sponsors, identified families in need of food and distributed turkeys.
Wyche faced a hurdle to get the number of turkeys needed for the shortage, but was able to get the amount the families needed and said, “It all worked out.”
Wyche has volunteered her time because she feels the Samuel Dixon Family Health Center does a lot for the community.
“This [event] is just another way for us to help our patients improve their well-being and help them stay healthy and not just medically, but nutritionally,” Wyche said.
Community response has been positive and families are appreciating the work of the organization and the food drive, according to Wyche.
Wyche is in his third year of helping organize the event, but said there were always setbacks, preparation was crucial and people were always ready to help.
“I just want to thank the Santa Clarita community,” Wyche said. “We live in a very generous and supportive community.”