Dr. Jessica Soldavini

Jessica Soldavini, PhD, MPH, RD, LDN

Assistant Professor
Department of Nutrition
Research Specialist
No Kid Hungry NC and Carolina Hunger Initiative
1700 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
CB # 7426
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7426


Dr. Jessica Soldavini’s work focuses on food insecurity, federal nutrition programs, and nutrition and culinary education. Through her work with the Carolina Hunger Initiative and No Kid Hungry NC, she has been involved with a variety of projects supporting school and summer nutrition programs in North Carolina. Dr. Soldavini has been studying how these programs have adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also works on a variety of studies related to food insecurity in college students. Dr. Soldavini provides college students with opportunities to gain experience working with community-based nutrition and culinary education programs and summer nutrition programs. She is interested in studying how these program impact both program participants and college student interns. Dr. Soldavini has an interest in conducting research with programmatic and policy implications. She often works with the organizations administering the programs she studies to help develop projects that will provide useful information to those administering them. She is involved with both quantitative and qualitative research projects.  

Jessica Soldavini in the Gillings News

Honors and Awards

Outstanding Dietitian of the Year
2021, North Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Mary P. Huddleson Award for exceptional paper published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
2020, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation

Inaugural Engaged Scholarship Prize
2020, UNC

Graduate Education Advancement Board Impact Award
2020, UNC

James Beard Foundation National Scholar Award
2019, James Beard Foundation

World Hunger Leadership Award
2019, Rise Against Hunger

Representative Courses

NUTR-405: Food and Nutrition Policy

NUTR-805: Nutrition Policy

Research Activities


Food insecurity 

School and summer meals programs  

Nutrition and culinary education programs 

Behavior science 


College students  

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning  

Key Publications

Characteristics of Cooking Frequency Among College Students. Soldavini J, Berner M (2021). Int J Gastron Food Sci, 23.

Marginal, Low and Very Low Food Security Among Children Associated with Intake of Select Dietary Factors During the Summer. Soldavini J, Ammerman A (2021). J Acad Nutr Diet, 121(4), 728-737.

Characteristics associated with changes in food security status among college students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Soldavini J, Andrew H, Berner M (2020). Public Health Nutr, 23(9), 1473-1483.

Serving breakfast free to all students and type of breakfast serving model are associated with participation in the School Breakfast Program. Soldavini J, Ammerman AS (2019). J Acad Nutr Diet, 119(7), 1142-1149.


  • PhD, Nutrition, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
  • MPH, Community Health Sciences, University of California Los Angeles
  • BS, Nutritional Sciences - Dietetics/Minor in Anthropology, University of California Berkeley