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Covid-19 Ongoing Research

 Find more information about these project on the Bloomberg School’s Covid-19 Projects and Initiatives webpage.

  1. Coronavirus and Food Security Survey – IRB#12359
    PI: Roni Neff,, Center for a Livable Future (CLF), Dept. Environmental Health & Engineering
    Description: The objective of this study is to understand and track data on food security experiences, attitudes, perceptions and needs among U.S. households during the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) and across time. We will perform anonymous surveys of nationally representative samples of Maryland and U.S. households about their experiences, attitudes, perceptions and needs relating to food access and availability during the COVID-19 pandemic. To capture data as COVID-19 progresses and subsides, data collection will occur at intervals of one month, three months, six months, and one year after the start of the project. This study is part of a larger collaboration with the University of Vermont, Arizona State University, and several other universities across the U.S. who are implementing the same or an adapted version of this survey in approximately 15 other U.S. states. 
  2. Food Worker/Volunteer COVID-19 Survey  - IRB#12549
    PI: Roni Neff, (Co-Investigator Daniel Barnett)
    Description: The objective of this study is to understand food system workers’ and volunteers’ experiences and concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to understand what they need in terms of protections and facilitators to support their work. We will perform anonymous online surveys of U.S. private and public sector food system workers in multiple industries. Survey recruitment will take place via social media, and the survey will be performed online via the Qualtrics platform in English and Spanish. The survey instrument asks workers about implementation of protections from the worker perspective; concerns and risk perceptions; facilitators and barriers to missing work when they could have gone (absenteeism); going to work when potentially infectious (presenteeism); job demand, control and support; and the safety climate of their workplace during COVID-19. 
  3. Food System Resilience Toolkit Evaluation – IRB#11719
    PI: Roni Neff, Email:
    Description: The Center for a Livable Future and Center for Applied Public Research are working with stakeholders from five U.S. cities through a “Food System Resilience Community of Practice.” The Community of Practice aims to co-create resources and data (a “toolkit”) to support local government planning and policies that improve resilience of food systems to COVID-19, as well as to future crises that threaten food access and availability. The research portion of the project is an evaluation of the process and outcomes of the Community of Practice and resulting toolkit, with the aim of improving and disseminating resources to a broader group of local governments who wish to build food system resilience in their jurisdictions. 
  4. Panel study of food policy councils’ (FPC) responses and adaptations in the context of COVID 19 – IRB#12917
    PI: Anne Palmer, , CLF, Dept. Health, Behavior & Society
    Description: Food policy councils (FPCs) are playing a key role in coordinating resources to address immediate food and farms needs as well as highlighting failures in the food system due to COVID-19. FPCs are well positioned to play this role as they tend to engage stakeholders from across the food system, enabling them to have a big picture view of the functioning of the food system of a local community. The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future will conduct a panel study to understand how FPCs in the United States and Canada are responding to food systems-related issues in their communities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study will use an online survey to document the actions, partnerships and policy engagement of FPCs in response to COVID-19, along with the challenges, successes and impact of their work. The survey will be administered two to three times over a 9-month period to track changes in an FPC’s response over time.

Other Research Activities/Projects (Not human subjects, no IRB#)

  1. COVID-19 + Food Systems Impact: Indicator and Response Tracking
    PI: Roni Neff,
    Description: This project seeks to track and assess potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent policy responses on the U.S. food system and food security. We are collecting publicly available, county- and state-level, longitudinal data to measure potential changes in food access, affordability and availability in U.S. communities, before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Statistical and spatial analyses will seek to understand possible associations between food system outcomes and COVID-19 exposure and the subsequent policy responses. Learnings from this project, and the data collected, will be shared with policy stakeholders and practitioners in the short and long-term, to inform actions and policies focused on building food systems that recover from the effects of COVID-19 but that are also more resilient to future pandemics and crises. 
  2. Investigation of the COVID-19 stay-at-home order on fruit and vegetable growers in MD 
    PI: Keeve Nachman , , CLF, Dept. Environmental Health & Engineering
    Description: In May, the CLF’s Food Production and Public Health team launched a study that aims to explore how farmers in Maryland responded to the Stay at Home Order, and how they may continue to adapt in the months to come. Through two rounds of in-depth interviews, the project intends to capture and characterize farmer resiliency, efforts to protect essential workers and their customers from COVID-19 transmission, utilization of farming organizations and informal networks, and other factors that impact how the general public interacts with their local food producers. 
  3. Building resilience in the seafood system after crisis
    PI: Dave Love,, Center for a Livable Future, Dept. Environmental Health & Engineering
    Description: The Seafood, Public Health, & Food systems team submitted a manuscript studying how shocks and disruptions to the seafood system from the pandemic are influencing livelihoods and nutritional security. The article discusses how actors within the industry are responding to the first five months of the crises and uses a food systems action cycle framework to help groups respond, learn, and become more resilient to future shocks.