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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. This research builds upon my prior work on food system resilience to diverse hazards, food security, and social factors in occupational safety. 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 (going online for 2021). 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 am 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 - 2020

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
  • COVID-19
  • coronavirus
  • food waste
  • food donations
  • food insecurity
  • resilience
  • climate change
  • policy
  • communication
  • sustainability
  • health disparities
  • Baltimore
  •  history
  • occupational injury and illness
  • workers
  • resilience
  • equity
  • 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;
  • Hecht A and Neff RA. Food Rescue Intervention Evaluations: A Systematic Review. Sustainability 2019, 11(23), 6718;
  • Feingold B, Xue X, Bozlak C, Neff RA, Hosler A, Jurkowski J. 2019. Introducing a dynamic framework to jointly address policy impacts on environmental and human health in a regional produce recovery and redistribution system. Journal of Public Affairs.
  • 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.
  • Food + COVID-19 Community of Practice + indicators
  • Food system workers and COVID-19 survey
  • National Food Access & COVID Research Team (NFACT)
  • Protein consumption, environment and public health
  • Urban Food System Resilience
  • Wasted Food