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Independent Voice

Dixon Family Services Celebrates 40

May 03, 2024 10:54AM ● By Debra Dingman, photo by Debra Dingman

Dixon Family Services Director Cookie Powell is handed a framed recognition for 40 years of community service by Ron Turner, field representative for California Senator Bill Dodd.

DIXON, CA (MPG) - About two dozen people gathered recently to share in the 40th anniversary of Dixon Family Services, an organization established in 1984 to provide a wide variety of human services for low-income families and individuals.

“We specialize in helping those struggling to meet their basic needs of food, rent, and utilities,” explained Executive Director Cookie Powell. During Covid, the need for human services increased drastically and there were many calls for help: from people who had never needed any kind of benefit before. They never closed during that unprecedented and dangerous time, and that the staff members were to be commended for being brave enough to come to work every day, she explained.

“They did this because it is in their hearts and souls to help those in need,” said Powell.

Guests were treated to fanfare and refreshments after an explanation of where the organization had experienced times of plenty of financial support but also times of financial drought.

“Yet supporters have always pulled through for our citizens,” Powell said, publicly thanking Joe and Christa Bruch from Dixon Grocery Outlet who has donated food as well as gift cards over holidays and regularly helps stock the DFS food pantry. In July, the store runs a fundraiser called “Independence from Hunger” and offers customers a $5 coupon if they donate $5 to the organization.

“The pantry helps fight food insecurity in hundreds of households each year,” said an appreciative Powell.

For the convenience of Dixon residents, representatives of government benefits and healthcare programs are also located in the DFS building including a WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Clinic. Victor Hernandez lauded Powell and her staff for keeping the doors open to the WIC Program.

“Solano County sees 9,300 clients a month through six clinics, and three of those are in Dixon,” said Hernandez, health education specialist for Solano County Public Health. “In the Dixon clinics, 600 are served.”

Tours were given for those who wanted to see the insides of the historical building and the offices where they work with families.

“It used to be the courthouse and also the Dixon Police Department all in one. I remember going to court here three days after I got my license,” said Powell, drawing a laugh from the crowd.

Dixon is a small, culturally-diverse community, with a large percentage of families living at or below poverty.

“We will continue to do as much as we can to alleviate some of the ill effects of poverty, motivated by our overarching goal of ensuring that all children are safe, healthy, and thriving in their homes,” Powell said. “Our success depends greatly on foundation grants and donations from those who want to be part of our mission to improve lives.”

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