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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

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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 multi-site survey related to food security (, a survey of U.S. food system workers , and a food system indicator project. This research builds upon my prior work on food system resilience to diverse hazards, including qualitative and quantitative research projects, and work with local governments.

More broadly, my projects address topics including wasted food, food security, resource use in the seafood supply chain, and food system worker safety/health. Most projects have a link to climate change. I'm especially interested in the complex social realities that complicate well-meaning public health efforts.

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. I also co-direct the school's MPH Concentration in Food Systems & Public Health and our Certificate Program in Food Systems & Public 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 current roles external to the university include serving on the National Academy of Sciences panel on preventing consumer waste of food, the National Academy of Sciences Food Forum, and the Board of the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society.

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
  • resilience
  • equity
  • qualitative

Below are some of my most recent publications:

  • Hecht A and Neff RA. Food Rescue Intervention Evaluations: A Systematic Review. Sustainability 2019, 11(23), 6718;
  • Kim B, Santo R, Scatterday A, Fry J, Synk C, Cebron S, Mekonnen M, Hoekstra A, de Pee S, Bloem M, Neff RA [co-last author], Nachman K. Country-specific dietary shifts to mitigate climate and water crises. Global Environmental Change. In press.
  • Neff RA, Spiker M*, Rice C, Shklair A, Greenberg S, Broad Leib E. 2019. Misunderstood food date labels and reported food discards: A survey of US consumer attitudes and behaviors. Waste Management. In press. DOI: 10.1016/j.wasman.2019.01.023
  • 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. In press.
  • Neff RA, Edwards D*, Ramsing R, Palmer A, Righter A, Wolfson J. 2018. Reducing meat consumption in the US: A nationally representative survey of attitudes and behaviours. Public Health Nutrition. Jul;21(10):1835-1844.
  • Food + COVID-19
  • Protein consumption, environment and public health
  • Urban Food System Resilience
  • Wasted Food