Striving for a Better Future

Guest post by Jenay Ross, USC journalism student: Sometimes when a person is going through a rough time, they need a little mentoring to inspire them to achieve a better life. Two agencies, Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the North Bay and Archway Recovery Services both of Fairfield, do exactly that.

Big Brothers, Big Sisters is a youth mentoring service that serves disadvantaged children, particularly those who have parents incarcerated or deployed in the military. Cecilia Ramirez Ruiz said their mission is to “provide children with a positive role model.”

They serve about 1,000 kids in the North Bay and obtain food from Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano regularly to provide snacks for the kids. Bread products, individually packed Little Debbie treats and other snacks are what the workers hope to find at distributions when they go a couple times a month.

With the Food Bank’s help, Archway is able to save money by picking up bread, milk, produce, eggs, frozen foods and other assorted non-perishable items at the weekly distributions. Archway is a drug and rehabilitation program that mostly caters to ex-convicts.

According to Billy Moore of Archway, when the convicts are released from prison, the program tries to “re-socialize them into the community.” Most people learn about Archway through the Board of Prison Terms or SASCA, the Substance Abuse Services Coordinating Agency.

Each person who signs up with Archway must complete a 12 step program, which includes going to outside AA meetings and getting a sponsor. While they work their way through each step, Archway provides its clients with food.

Except for when the agencies have to buy something they can’t find at distribution, the Food Bank has been able to supply good resources and nutritious food for each agency.

Billy Moore from Archway

Efrain Sanchez of Archway shops for assorted non-food items

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