Equal Access to Services – Investigating Access to Food among the Rockbridge Area’s Latino Population

This study was designed to learn more about the barriers Latinos in the Rockbridge area face in utilizing Rockbridge Area Relief Association and other local food pantries’ services.  Using this newly obtained information, the purpose of this project was to offer recommendations to improve Latinos’ access to services by minimizing the barriers they already face and making subtle changes to enhance their ability to take advantage of services.

Project Completed: April 2012


Danielle Breidung
Sociology / Anthropology

Myrna Barrera


From February to April 2012, two Washington and Lee students set out to study Rockbridge area Latinos, particularly this group’s access to food.  The research methodology involved in-person interviews with twelve Latinos who work and reside in Lexington (city), Buena Vista (city), and Rockbridge County.  All participants’ were identified at their respective workplaces, so this study is a convenience, rather than random, sample.  As such, this study provided enough information to compare the quantitative data pertaining to this population made available by the Census Bureau and American Community Survey with Rockbridge area Latino residents’ perspectives.  In particular, the study revealed that Latinos have extremely limited access to information about Rockbridge area food pantries.  Additionally, the twelve participants’ responses to questions regarding family, food pantries, and access to community services made it possible to develop the following recommendations.


Project Details

Agency Name Rockbridge Area Relief Association
Mission The Rockbridge Area Relief Organization provides emergency relief for low-income families in the Rockbridge Area. RARA offers monetary aid when families need help paying for rent, utility bills, and fuel to travel to and from work, and has a well-stocked food pantry in hopes of supplementing people's nutritional requirements.
Website www.rockbridgeareareliefassociation.org/
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