Inequities in our food system worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic, exacerbating food and nutrition insecurity. In Los Angeles (LA) County, more than 1 million households (about 1 in 3) experienced food insecurity in 2020. Our research team, comprised of experts in public health, health policy, and spatial and data science, and our government and community partners, have been working collaboratively to map, monitor, and address the complex drivers of these food issues. We are using novel sources of data, including population survey data and secondary data on food outlets, food assistance programs, and population mobility, to quickly monitor changes to the local food system, and to population food access and security. This research is identifying the people and places most at-risk for food insecurity, proposing and evaluating timely interventions, and advancing the science of food systems and food justice.
Dr. de la Haye is an Associate Professor of Population and Public Health Sciences at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles. She works to promote health and health equity by applying social network analysis and systems science. Her research, funded by the U.S National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and philanthropy, targets family and community social networks and social-ecological systems to promote healthy eating, healthy lifestyles, and food security, and to prevent chronic disease. She also studies the role of social networks and systems in group problem solving in families, teams, and coalitions. She serves as Vice President of the International Network of Social Network Analysis (INSNA), and in 2018, she received the INSNA Freeman Award for significant contributions to the study of social structure. Dr. de la Haye holds a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Adelaide, Australia.