Dixie Direct joins Tan’s Treats in fight against childhood hunger through 2020 launch event

Stock image | Photo by djedzura/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE —Dixie Direct celebrated the release of their 2020 Southern Utah savings card with a fundraising event for Tan’s Treats, a nonprofit on a mission to end childhood hunger, “one child at a time.”

Dixie Direct savings guide launch party and fundraiser for Tan’s Treats, St. George, Utah | Photo by Andrew Pinckney, St. George News

“I just love what they do,” Tony Chambers, owner of Dixie Direct, told St. George News. 

Hundreds of children qualify for Washington County’s free school lunch program every year, kids whose families may also be struggling to pay the bills and don’t have food at home on the weekends, said Reece Heideman, board member of Tan’s Treats. They work to bridge the hunger gap between Friday and Monday.

“The reality is, there’s plenty of parents that are paycheck to paycheck, just barely getting by. This helps their kids have a little something extra on the weekends,” Heideman said.

Dixie Direct savings guide launch party and fundraiser for Tan’s Treats, St. George, Utah | Photo by Andrew Pinckney, St. George News

Last year, while helping the organization with his own kids, Chambers learned about the direct impact Tans Treats’ work has on the community.

“I think it’s awesome,” he said.

Deliveries begin with the school year in August, and over 600 meal bags per week are delivered on to students every Friday. Bags include things like granola bars, canned goods and fruit snacks. The bags have enough food for six meals and two snacks. Extra food is included for long weekends and holidays.

Heideman said they are currently working at 13 elementary schools and plan to add two or three more this year. Someday, they hope to serve 25. 

“The need is increasing. Wherever there’s a need, we want to be there to help someone,” he said. 

Many times when people donate money to charities they don’t really know where the money is going, but working with Tan’s Treats, they can see the exact outcome of every dollar as they pack food going directly to the kids. When people come out to help assemble the meal kits, they end up loving it and soon want to bring friends along to help, Heideman said. 

That’s one reason the nonprofit likes partnering with other community organizations and businesses.

“There’s a lot of people in the community, and once they get their hands on it, they want to do something. We’re all about helping kids. You want to do it every year,” he said. “Dixie Direct means the world of difference as far as being able to do fun things for families. We’re just happy that he chose us. All the people that came and helped out … we’re just super grateful and blessed to have them contribute.”

Since the day they started 23 years ago, Dixie Direct has been raising money for nearby charities, raising over $250,000 for local schools and community events last year, Chambers said. Their latest savings guide was released Friday afternoon, and since he knew people would be coming in to replace their expired books anyway, he came up with the idea to hold a launch party for the 2020 edition and raise some money at the same time for Tans Treats. 

Dixie Direct savings guide launch party and fundraiser for Tan’s Treats, St. George, Utah | Photo by Andrew Pinckney, St. George News

By the end of the day, over 80 people showed up for free pizza and to purchase their new card and guide, with 50% of sales going toward Tan’s Treats. A raffle and silent auction was also held for a number of gifts provided by business partners, every dollar of which was donated to the charity, totaling nearly $1,500. 

Chambers said that since the event was such a success, raising between $2,500-$3,000, he anticipates doing it again next year. 

The next event Dixie Direct will be helping with is KONY’s “Coins for Kids” annual charity as well as the upcoming Dicken’s Christmas Festival at the Dixie Convention Center. 

“Every time you see us at an event selling books, it is always on the behalf of somebody else,” Chambers said. 

Dixie Direct is located at 1060 S. Main St., St. George. For more information about Tan’s Treats, visit their website.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews 

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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