Samuel Dixon Family Health Center in Val Verde held its annual turkey dinner food drive for 70 families identified with a need for food supplies to celebrate Thanksgiving.
According to CEO Philip Solomon, the health center provided turkeys with the help of Grocery Outlet and former Assemblywoman Christy Smith.
Christy Smith stepped up in a big way to help provide 70 Thanksgiving dinners to patients the health center cares for and donated a “substantial amount,” Solomon said.
The health center, over the years, has an established relationship with the families they treat and can identify which families need the support on Thanksgiving.
Traditionally, the turkey drive provides dinners to more than 100 families, but due to COVID-19 disruptions, there is a supply chain shortage, with many grocery stores unable to supply the turkey requests.
Even with the shortage faced, Solomon and the organization held a food drive at Grocery Outlet. As a result, many in the community donated side dish ingredients and made cash donations.
“The community was great, and gave us cash donations to buy turkeys and bought a lot of the things on our list that we have here today,” Solomon said. “Again, Grocery Outlet, as one of our sponsors, donated other items for us to give to our families.”
The Samuel Dixon Family Health Center has provided services for more than 40 years, and Solomon stated it’s essential to stay connected to the community and offer more than just health care.
“There are other needs the patients have for themselves and their families, and we try to help by doing events such as this,” Solomon said.
Looking to the future, Solomon wants to build on the annual event and grow the resources to provide more turkey dinners to the patients they care for in the community.
“Maybe in the next couple of years we’re able to continue to grow this event, so we’re actually serving hundreds of Thanksgiving dinners to our families,” Solomon said.
Public relations coordinator Daisy Wyche helped organize and manage the turkey food drive this year. She enlisted the partners and sponsors, identified the families needing the food and handed out turkeys.
Wyche faced an obstacle securing the number of turkeys needed with the shortage but was able to secure the amount required by the families and said, “It all worked out.”
Wyche volunteered her time because she feels Samuel Dixon Family Health Center does so much for the community.
“This [event] is just another way for us to help our patients improve their wellness and help them continue to be healthy and not just medically, but nutrition-wise,” Wyche said.
The response from the community is positive, and the families are appreciative of the organization’s work and the food drive, according to Wyche.
Wyche is in her third year helping to organize the event but said there are always setbacks, and preparation is crucial and people are always willing to help out.
“I just want to thank the community of Santa Clarita,” Wyche said. “We live in a very giving and supportive community.”