Molly De Marco, PhD

Research Assistant Professor Department of Nutrition

T:(919) 966-9563

1700 MLK Blvd.

CB 7426

Chapel HIll, NC 27599-7426


Molly De Marco, PhD MPH, is a Research Assistant Professor of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Research Scientist at the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. She conducts research on determinants of health disparities and food insecurity and focuses on community-based research that engages low-income and historically marginalized populations in improving the food environment. She has co-led studies of the health impacts of church/community garden participation, healthy retail in rural communities, and promotion of farmers’ markets among low-income consumers. Dr. De Marco also developed and led a pilot study of a produce packs project to facilitate the purchase of fresh vegetables by WIC clients newly receiving WIC fruit and vegetable cash value vouchers. She is currently implementing studies to encourage the purchase of North Carolina foods in a large regional grocery chain. For the past four years, Dr. De Marco has directed a program, funded through SNAP-Ed, to assist SNAP recipients to make healthy food choices, extend Summer Meals to more SNAP-eligible families in rural communities, and engage SNAP recipients in community gardens to build access to healthy food. She helps to direct a USDA-funded center to assist SNAP-Ed and EFNEP providers to implement more Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change activities, while also collaborating with Duke University on the Duke-UNC USDA Center for Behavioral Economics & Healthy Food Choice Research.

Representative Courses

NUTR 245: Sustainable, Local Food Systems--Intersection of Local Foods and Public Health

Research Activities

Interests Include:

•    Health disparities
•    Food systems
•    Community-based participatory research
•    Food insecurity

Key Publications

Growing partners: building a community-academic partnership to address health disparities in rural North Carolina. De Marco M, Kearney W, Smith T, Jones C, Kearney-Powell A, Ammerman A (2014). Prog Community Health Partnersh, 8(2), 181-186.

Locally-grown fruit and vegetable purchasing habits and the association with children’s diet. De Marco M, Gustafson A, Gizlice Z, Ammerman A (2014). Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, 9(3).

Assessing the readiness of black churches to engage in health disparities research. De Marco M, Weiner B, Meade SA, Hadley M, Boyd C, Goldmon M, et al (2011). J Natl Med Assoc, 103(9-10), 960-967.


PhD, Health Promotion & Health Behavior, Oregon State University Department of Public Health, 2007

MPH, Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, 2000