Maria Guidino picks up one of the 124 donated turkeys handed out at the Samuel Dixson Family Health Center in Val Verde on Friday, November 22, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal

Samuel Dixon Family Health Center gives residents Thanksgiving Day meals

From their original location in Val Verde, the Samuel Dixon Family Health Center distributed more than 124 Thanksgiving Day meals to families last week.

Throughout the year, the Samuel Dixon Family Health Center has committed itself to helping those in need with medical services, with 90% of their patients being low income and 20% of patients being uninsured.

They say the annual Turkey Dinner Giveaway is an extension of the care they provide as a full turkey dinner on the holidays can mean more to some families than just a belly full of food.

Kensy Jeancalixte, left, picks up the items for her Thanksgiving meal from Sunkist Growers CEO Jim Philips, center, and Assemblywoman Christy Smith at the Samuel Dixson Family Health Center in Val Verde on Friday, November 22, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal

“Today’s a special day for us because we’re able to partner with other community partners to provide actually the natural Thanksgiving meal for our families,” said Philip Solomon, CEO of Samuel Dixon. “We know that every one of those individuals that come through our doors could benefit from a Thanksgiving Day meal.”

This year, Samuel Dixon said they had partnered with Sunkist, which is headquartered in Valencia, to provide for all the fixings.

“We’re here to support the community,” said Sunkist CEO Jim Phillips, who was helping distribute food on Friday. “We’re trying to give back to the community and help out any way we can.”

Wrapping around the front portion of the Samuel Dixon Val Verde campus were tables lined with everything from stuffing, mashed potato boxes, whole turkeys, to bags of oranges provided by Sunkist. As whole families walked in to pick up the free food, they were greeted with a smile by Samuel Dixon staff and volunteers.

Sofia Jacqueline, left, fills her bag with the help of Samuel Dixon employees, from center, Sandra Guinea, Norma Juarez and Lady Saladino during the Samuel Dixon Family Health Center Thanksgiving Dinner Givaway at the Samuel Dixon Family Health Center in Vale Verde on Friday, November 22, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal

“(Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers) has been a very important part of the health care delivery in this community for a long time,” said Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, who was in attendance at the event, and had helped bring Sunkist in with their donations. “And families are well, whole and healthy when they can sit together and enjoy a meal, especially on Thanksgiving.”

“It’s happy because we get to see people’s faces,” said Beverly Ramirez, a volunteer for the event for more than two decades. “They get all happy and excited.”

Solomon said that every year, Samuel Dixon looks for donations and volunteers. Those wishing to volunteer or donate can visit their website at sdfhc.org or give one of their three locations a call.

“Let them know that you want to be involved in this event next year,” said Solomon, adding that people can either support through sponsorship or providing individual items that can be handed out.

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