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Roni A. Neff, PhD

  • Associate Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Center & Institute Affiliations

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street
Room W7009
Baltimore, Maryland 21205


Center for a Livable Future website
National Food Access and COVID Research Team (NFACT)

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PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2006
ScM, Harvard School of Public Health, 1997
AB, Brown University, 1989


My research focuses on food system environmental sustainability and resilience, including equity issues. My current COVID-19 projects include a U.S. national and Maryland survey related to food security and access, serving on the executive team for the National Food Access and COVID Research Team (NFACT); performing a survey of U.S. food system workers, and supporting a food system indicator project. Outside of COVID-19, my projects focus on wasted food (including seafood), food donations, food system resilience, and food contributions to climate change.

I engage with public health practice and with broader food system issues in my role as director of the Food System Environmental Sustainability and Public Health program at the school's Center for a Livable Future. I teach a community-engaged seminar course, Baltimore Food Systems: A Case Study in Urban Food Environments and an online course, Food System Resilience to Disasters: COVID-19, Climate Change and Beyond. I also co-direct the school's MPH Concentration in Food Systems & Public Health and our Certificate Program in Food Systems & Public Health. I am co-leading a new doctoral track focused on Environmental Sustainability, Resilience and Health. I edited the first textbook on the US food system, Introduction to the US Food System: Public Health, Environment, Equity (Wiley-Jossey Bass, 2014, 576 pgs). I was a 2019-20 participant in the "Cultivating Anti-Oppressive Learning Communities" faculty seminar.

My roles external to the university include serving on the National Academy of Sciences panel on preventing consumer waste of food and the National Academy of Sciences Food Forum.

Honors and Awards

Excellence in teaching, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2010 - 2021

Delta Omega Award for Innovative Public Health Curriculum – Second Place, for Food System Certificate (co-leader of certificate), 2017

Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award, SOURCE, JHSPH 2014

Champion of the Month, May 2014, SOURCE, JHSPH

SOURCE Service Learning Faculty Fellow, 2012-13

Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society, Alpha Chapter, 2007

Victor P. Raymond Award in Health Policy, 2003

  • Food system
  • food waste
  • resilience
  • climate change
  • sustainability
  • workers
  • food donations
  • food insecurity
  • occupational injury and illness
  • equity
  • COVID-19
  • environmental justice
  • policy
  • communication
  • service-learning
  • Baltimore
  • history
  • qualitative

Below are some of my most recent publications:

  • National Academies of Science, Engineering & Medicine, Committee on a Systems Approach to Reducing Consumer Food Waste. 2020. A National Strategy to Reduce Wasted Food at the Consumer Level: A Consensus Study Report. Board on Environmental Change and Society. Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Release: 8/21/20.
  • Niles MT, Bertmann F, Morgan EH, Wentworth T, Biehl E, Neff RA. The early food insecurity impacts of COVID-19. Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2096;
  • Neff RA, Hecht AA, Zaltz DA, Pate PR, Neelon B, O’Neill JR, Benjamin-Neelon SE. Preschool healthy food policy did not increase percent of food wasted: Evidence from the Carolinas. Nutrients. 2020, 12(10), 3024;
  • Omolayo Y, Feingold BJ, Neff RA, Romeiko XX. 2020. Life cycle assessment of food loss and waste in the food supply chain: A review. 2021. Resources Conservation & Recycling. v.164. In press.
  • Santo R, Kim B, Goldman S, Dutkiewicz J, Biehl E, McKenzie S, Neff RA, Nachman K. Considering plant-based meat substitutes and cell-based meats: A public health and food system perspective. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems. 2020, In press.