Food Insecurity and Health Care Industry in Humboldt County

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Hospitals and Physicians

There are six hospitals in Humboldt County, which five of them are general acute care hospitals and one is a psychiatric health facility. Three of the hospitals are nonprofit, two are government, and one is investor-owned (OSHPD, n.d.). The data in the Kaiser Family Foundation shows the state level of beds per 1,000 population in California is 0.3 for state/local government, 1.2 for non-profit, and 0.3 for a for-profit. The total of beds per 1,000 population in California is 1.8. Humboldt County general acute care hospitals have 2.1 beds per 1,000 population and the psychiatric health facility has 0.11 beds per 1,000 population (KFF, n.d.). The data in the State Statistics A Service of the Rand Corporations demonstrates that in California there are 2.9 physicians per 1,000 population and in Humboldt County, there are 2.1 physicians per 1,000 population. The data proves that the county has fewer physicians than California.

Community Clinics

California Primary Care Association provided the data that Humboldt County has a total of 16 Community Health Centers (CHCs) and there are four types located in this area:

  • Federally Qualified Health Center sites
  • Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike sites
  • Community clinics, Indian Health Centers and Free sites
  • 95-210 Rural Health Center sites

The patients served in this county are categorize by females, males, and 19 years and under. There are 43,494 females, 30,857 males, and 19,167 nineteen years and under making the total of 74,351 of patients served in the county. The population of Humboldt is 136,754 which only 54% of the population is served by a Community Health Center (CPCA, n.d.).

Children’s Health:

The 2016-2017 California County Scorecard states the total of 26,712 children that live in Humboldt County. The majority of children living in the county are 63% Caucasian following by 18% Latino, 16% Other, and 1% African-American. The scorecard identifies the health of the children living in Humboldt by comparing the rates of education, health, and children welfare and economic well-being. Approximately 23% of children in the county live in poverty. The scorecard rates education with 3 stars, health with 2.5 stars, and child welfare and economic well-being with 3.5 stars (ChildrenNow, 2017).

Nutrition and Food Insecurity:

According to California Food Policy Advocates, Humboldt County ranks 49 for food insecurity and health indicators. Forty-four percent of low-income households deal with food insecurity, which leads to 64% of adults who are overweight or obese. Individual dealing with food insecurity are at a higher risk factor for diabetes, since he or she are consuming unhealthy nutrients due to inexpensive foods. The data from County Health Rankings demonstrates that Humboldt County adult obesity is increasing compare to California’s adult obesity is remaining the same throughout the years. California has remained at 23% of adults with obesity while Humboldt increase from 26% to 29% in 2014 (CountyHealthRankings, n.d.). One of the uses of food and nutrition assistance programs is the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) in which 1,809 children participated in 2011-2012. National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs are other assistance programs that help low-income students receive free breakfast and lunch. “Sixty-seven percent of low-income students reached by school lunch and 35% of low-income students reached by school breakfast (CFPA, n.d.).

Recommendation and Solutions:

One recommendation to reduce food insecurity in Humboldt County is to provide food banks that provide adequate foods. Food banks will be able to improve food security and will help individuals to intake proper nutrients to avoid the risk factor of obesity. The data shows that Humboldt has higher rates of obesity than California; therefore, the state should take action to reduce the rates of the county. Another recommendation is to have health care setting address to patients the issue of food insecurity. Health care setting can connect patients to programs such as SNAP, WIC, and other food programs.


In conclusion, Humboldt County is one of the sixteen California counties that has a high percentage of poverty. The data demonstrate that Humboldt Country deals with 20% of all people in poverty compared to California only having 14.4% of all people in poverty. All the data in this paper shows that California has lower a percentage on all categories compared to Humboldt.


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Food Insecurity and Health Care Industry in Humboldt County. (2022, Sep 09). Retrieved June 23, 2024 , from

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