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Mission

To aid Rockbridge area households in a time of emergency when help is needed to meet life’s basic needs.

History

In 1972, several amazing, local women sat around a kitchen table to discuss how to allow neighbors to support neighbors when someone was struggling to make ends meet. The Rockbridge Area Relief Association (RARA) came out of this conversation, and 50 years later, we are the largest non-profit organization alleviating hunger and addressing poverty in the Rockbridge area. All of this time, RARA has stayed committed to our community, to being powered by volunteers, and most of all, to upholding our belief that everyone deserves nutritious food and warm, safe shelter.

We know that every day, families make the difficult decision of whether to purchase food or make a utility or rent payment. RARA aims to prevent the need for this choice by providing food through our Neighborhood Grocery (formerly known as the Food Pantry). We also offer Utilities Assistance and Housing Support when households need a little extra support to pay their bills. Headquartered in Lexington, Virginia, we serve Rockbridge County and the cities of Buena Vista and Lexington.

What We Do

UNDERSTAND.

Everyone deserves help when they need it, and no two people experience the exact same circumstances. We have the expertise and relationships to listen carefully and connect our neighbors to the resources that will best serve them.

SECURE.

Everyone deserves warm, safe shelter. We help our neighbors stay in their homes and assist with emergency utilities, shelter, and transportation.

NOURISH.

Everyone deserves healthy, flavorful food. We ensure our neighbors have access to enough to eat.

ENRICH.

Everyone deserves to live a full life by connecting with others, learning and growing, and caring for their own well-being. We offer our neighbors more than the basic necessities through initiatives like our seasonal foods and recipes, books for all ages, and health and hygiene items.

How We Do It

IN COMMUNITY.

Everyone has a part to play. Our work is collaborative because communities are interdependent. We do our best work when we share ideas, communicate, and team up with community partners who share our values.

WITH DIGNITY.

Everyone is worthy of kindness and respect and deserves to make their own choices. We treat our neighbors the way we expect to be treated, understanding that a person's circumstances do not define them.