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Barriers to Access in Private Food Assistance and the Myth of the Unencumbered Client

In response to a food bank's public scholarship request, this study explores systemic programmatic barriers that perpetuate inequitable access to food in nonprofit programs.
Crate of apples and carrots


Journal Articles

Grants & Awards


  • Leon Mayhew Award for Best Qualifying Paper

    $500 from Department of Sociology, University of California, Davis


  • Institute for Social Sciences 2018 Summer Research Award

    $750 from University of California, Davis
  • Sociology Small Research Grant

    $368 from University of California, Davis


March 6, 2020

Intersecting Inequities for Nonprofit Clients: The case of private food assistance

Amidst a receding welfare state, the private food assistance network has grown. This study, based on interviews and observation at a Northern California food bank, examines how race, gender, class, and ability affect accessibility, revealing four key structural barriers. The findings highlight the need for equity-focused social service programs to mitigate societal inequalities.

Past Research Assitants

    Sanha Ali

    Sanha Ali graduated from UC Davis in Sociology with an emphasis in Law and Society and a Communication minor. Sanha currently works as a Public Advisor in the Undergraduate Admissions office for UC Davis. Her interests include law and criminology as well as education. Sanha hopes to work in the law field upon graduation.

    Alyssa Alvarado

    Alyssa graduated from The University of California Davis, in a Sociology and Psychology double major with a minor in Education. She is hoping to pursue a career as a mental health counselor and is particularly interested in serving those in marginalized communities within the Central Valley. While working with Alana, she developed a passion for learning about intersectionality specifically in the context of disability, race, and mental health.

    Ashley Cabrera

    Ashley graduated with a Sociology: Organizational Studies and Psychology double major and is interested in the intersectionality of poverty, race, and gender and how it is perpetuated in various social organizations. In the future, Ashley is hoping to pursue a career in the realm of social work or non-profit management. Outside of school Ashley enjoys reading sci-fi novels and watching interesting programs.

    Juli Bautista

    Juli graduated from The University of California Davis, in Sociology with an emphasis in Social Service and a minor in Chicanx Studies. She is interested in aiding marginalized communities like people of color, women, low-income, and undocumented populations. While working with Alana, she developed a better understanding of the difficulties various groups face accessing food in Yolo County and learned about various food banks through out California.

    Ingrid Chang

    Ingrid Chang graduated from the University of California, Davis. She has collaborated in sociological research with Alana Stein and assisted in the publications of multiple Japanese-English light novel translations of Cross Infinite World.