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Monday - Thursday 9:30am - 12pm

(540) 463-6642

Applications are completed by phone only, but you may start a request online if you prefer. If the phone line is busy or we are closed, leave a detailed voice message so we can call you back. Please have your account number ready when you call.



utilities kept on in 2023


individuals assisted last year

Utilities Assistance

RARA provides temporary assistance with past due electric, water, and heating bills to families in Rockbridge County. We know how quickly families can get behind on bills when unexpected expenses come up, and we want to make sure everyone can keep their lights on or water running.

Applications are done by phone and take about 10 minutes to start. Please have your account number ready when you call. We will then confirm the amount owed with the utility company and let you know if we can help within 2 business days.

In order to receive assistance, your household income for the last month must be below 200% of the federal poverty level. This may mean you are on a fixed income through SSI/SSDI, are working but still having trouble paying your bills, or are in between jobs. If you receive SNAP, Medicaid, TANF, or WIC benefits, you can know that your income is below 200%. Otherwise, please see the chart, or call us if you are not sure if you qualify!

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  • Who can visit the Neighborhood Grocery?
    Anyone that needs food may visit. We have plenty of food for everyone, whether you just need help making it to the end of the month or you need a reliable source of groceries throughout the year. We do ask about your monthly income during registration, but this is self-reported and will not impact your ability to get food.
  • Does receiving help from RARA depend on immigration status? Could it affect someone’s immigration status?
    We are a private organization and not part of any government agencies. We’ll help everyone, no matter what their immigration status is. Whatever information you chose to share with us will remain completely confidential.
  • How often can I visit?
    You can visit the Neighborhood Grocery as often as once per week.
  • What types of food are in the Neighborhood Grocery?
    We have fresh veggies, meat, dairy, bread, eggs, and more. We stock canned items like tuna, soup, fruit, and veggies, as well as cereal, pasta, and dried beans. We also have health and hygiene items such as toilet paper, soap, dish soap, and laundry detergent.
  • Do I need to bring ID or other paperwork?
    No, no documents of any kind are required to visit. All of our registration questions (name, age, address, income, etc) are self-reported.
  • How long will my visit take?
    Depending on how busy we are and how quickly you shop, a visit usually takes 15-30 minutes. The first time you visit will take the longest, as we will register you before you shop (a 5-minute process). Most people arrive right when we open, so your visit may be faster if you come at least 30 minutes later. We won't run out of food!
  • Can I schedule a pick-up time?
    We offer some scheduled pick-ups for people who are unable or prefer not to come inside. Click here or call (540) 463-6943 to request a pick-up.
  • Do you offer deliveries?
    We are able to offer deliveries on a limited basis to households with no transportation and no reliable way to get to the Neighborhood Grocery by friends, family, or bus. Click here or call (540) 463-6943 to request a delivery.
  • Where do you get your food?
    RARA receives weekly deliveries from the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank (BRAFB) of both USDA and non-USDA food. We occasionally supplement those items by purchasing from other vendors to ensure we have plenty of meat and fresh produce. We also partner with local grocery stores to reclaim over 84,000 pounds of healthy food that would otherwise be go to a landfill due to things like ordering errors or problems with packaging. Community members frequently support RARA through food drives or by growing an "extra row" of produce in their garden to donate. These donations allow us to provide a more diverse selection of items than what we could source from BRAFB alone.
  • Do you give out pet food?
    Yes, the Rockbridge Animal Alliance distributes pet food in our Neighborhood Grocery on the 2nd Saturday of each month from 10am-12pm.
  • When is The Community Table open?
    The Community Table (TCT) is located in the RARA building but is a separate organization. They serve hot meals downstairs on Mondays from 6-7pm and Wednesdays from 12-1pm. They are also at Fairfield Presbyterian Church on Fridays from 10am-12pm. Visit for more information.
  • How do I sign up for Rockbridge Christmas Baskets?
    Although RARA helps source some of the food for Rockbridge Christmas Baskets, it is run by a separate organization. Visit their website for more information.
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