Meeting Needs in Dixon
“It’s hard to imagine how many people need our services until you get involved in this kind of work,” says Mendy Sinden, director of the Dixon Area Caring Center.
In Dixon, Missouri, a local church group recognized the signs of food insecurity in their community and decided to take action. They started the Dixon Area Caring Center, which now provides the nutrition and support community members facing food insecurity need to get through each month.
The pantry sees clients across several age groups and circumstances, from teens and young adults to families living on low incomes, and seniors whose social security doesn’t completely cover expenses. Mendy has heard many clients’ stories, from both regulars and those facing food insecurity for the first time.
Recently, a woman visited the pantry whose home had burned completely to the ground. From the in-house thrift store that helps fund the pantry, The Dixon Area Caring Center was able to provide the woman with household goods, as well as food from the pantry.
“The moment when you realize you make a difference makes it all worth it,” says Mendy.
Since its beginnings as a small pantry, the Dixon Area Caring Center has grown into an organization that lives up to its name. The pantry was originally established to meet one need: Hunger. Over time, more needs in the community arose, and the center has expanded to address them. Now, in addition to a pantry that feeds 50-60 families monthly, the Center operates a thrift store, community room, recycling center, and fitness center.
Mendy gives one example of how the Center responded to a community need, explaining, “We wanted to think of how we could give teens a place to go and keep them out of trouble. That’s why we originally created the fitness center, which we’ve since opened up to anyone.”
For years, the Dixon Area Caring Center relied on drop-off donations to stock their pantry, but becoming a partner agency of Ozarks Food Harvest has made a big difference.
“With Ozarks Food Harvest, we can make much better use of our money. Between Ozarks Food Harvest, the thrift store, and regular donations from churches and the community, I hardly feel the need to check the bank account anymore. It’s well provided for. We were even able to buy a walk-in freezer last year,” says Mendy.
Ozarks Food Harvest is proud to partner with hunger-relief organizations like the Dixon Area Caring Center, whose employees and volunteers show us what it means to be a Hunger Hero. If you are a resident of Dixon and want to contact the Dixon Area Caring Center, you can call (573) 759-3023.