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CLF and the Food Systems Response to Covid-19




The coronavirus crisis is affecting the food system and public health in ways that are evolving and becoming more dramatic every day. The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future is deeply concerned about how the pandemic is affecting food security, food access, food production, food service work and many more aspects of the food system. Through the infectious disease outbreak, we continue to engage with our partners and communities  to pursue our mission of creating a healthy, equitable, and resilient food system. Also, in line with University guidelines, the Center is continuing operations while also taking measures to help protect our staff and community by working remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of our current efforts include:

  • The Center’s Food Policy Networks project is helping food policy councils (FPCs) across the United States connect and learn from each other about how FPCs are reducing barriers to food access and supporting food producers and food workers. Through the Food Policy Networks project, food policy council leaders are exploring the processes, challenges, and lessons learned from addressing food system concerns in their cities. Read their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Center is engaged in research projects that explore the impacts of the pandemic on issues such as food security, safety, resilience, food production and more. To read in-depth descriptions of each project, visit our CLF Covid-19 Ongoing Research page.
  • Food security and food access survey –The Center conducted national and state-level surveys to understand household experiences with food access and availability during the pandemic. This work continues in collaboration with the University of Vermont, Arizona State University, and several other universities who are part of the National Food Access and COVID (NFACT) research team.
  • Food workers and Covid-19 survey – The Center surveyed food system workers in the US to understand their needs and concerns during the pandemic, and to understand the safety climate of their work environments.
  • Food system resilience planning resources — With the Center for Applied Public Research, CLF convened a five-city Community of Practice to create resources that help local governments improve food system resilience to COVID-19 and other crises.
  • Panel study of FPC responses and adaptations in context of Covid-19 – The Center is exploring how food policy councils in the US and Canada are responding to food systems-related issues in their communities as a result of the pandemic.
  • Covid-19 + food systems impact: Indicator and response tracking – The Center is collecting publicly available, longitudinal data to measure potential changes in food access, affordability and availability in US communities, throughout and after the pandemic.
  • Investigation of the Covid-19 stay-at-home order on fruit and vegetable growers in Maryland – The Center is investigating how Maryland farmers responded to the stay-at-home order, and how they’re continuing to adapt.
  • Building resilience in the seafood system after crisis – The Center is exploring how shocks and disruptions to the seafood system from the pandemic are influencing livelihoods and nutritional security, and how the industry is responding.
  • The Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center can be accessed here:


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Image: Mike Milli 2020