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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 to 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.
    • Coronavirus and food security survey – In collaboration with the University of Vermont, Arizona State University, and several other universities, the Center is conducting surveys to understand the American experience of food access and availability during the pandemic.
    • Food worker/volunteer Covid-19 survey – The Center is conducting surveys to understand the needs and concerns of food system workers and volunteers, and to understand the safety climate of their work environments.
    • Food system resilience toolkit evaluation – With the Center for Applied Research, CLF is working with a five-city Community of Practice to create a toolkit that supports local governments in improving food system resilience.
    • 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, before, during, 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