Ashley Chaifetz researches domestic food and agricultural policy, specifically focusing on the policies and regulations regarding food safety and the inequality of goods available to and demanded by socioeconomically diverse communities. In her work at the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, her research is concentrated on school and center-based meals, focused on farm to school, procurement, food safety, and program participation. She completed her Ph.D. in public policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Her dissertation, “The Food Safety Policy Gap: Essays on Emergency Food in North Carolina,” evaluated the channels of distribution for those who seek emergency food—specifically the supply chains, organizational readiness, and standard operating procedures of North Carolina’s 2,500 food pantries. As a result of that research, she crafted and evaluated evidence-based guidelines, available online and in use across NC. They were featured by the Associated Press in December 2015 as part of its holiday donation coverage.