Research & Policy Briefs Food Security & Food Policy Council

Humboldt Food Policy Council

The Humboldt Food Policy Council (HFPC) is a network of diverse Humboldt County food systems stakeholders. A food system includes all the activities that are involved in food production including growing, harvesting, processing, transporting, marketing, eating, and disposing of food waste. Founded by the California Center for Rural Policy in 2009 with the vision that everyone in our community should have equal access to healthy food, the HFPC has since led to the inception of numerous food programs, grants and initiatives that are central to the health and vitality of the region. The HFPC works to enhance a regional food system that is equitable, culturally appropriate, and both environmentally and economically sustainable by facilitating collaborative partnerships of diverse stakeholders; and affecting relevant policies throughout the food system.

HFPC members include grocers, farmers, public health professionals, hospitals, economic developers, value added food producers, local food advocates, planners, food pantries, non-profits, elected officials, consumers, and concerned citizens. Stakeholders in the HFPC envision a sustainable food system that provides affordable and accessible foods for all, contributes to the economic viability of the region, and supports the sustainability of every part of the food system –from seed, to table, to soil.

Business Meetings are held on the 3rd Tuesday of every other month 3-4:30 p.m.  The HFPC also holds community events throughout the year. 


Trinity County Access to Health Care & Food Security

Selected Findings from the Rural Health Information Survey, 2006
Access to Health Care and Food Security


The Food Access and Pantry Services Survey

The Food Access and Pantry Services survey was initiated by Food for People, Humboldt County’s Food Bank to evaluate the services at its various pantry sites, assess the food security status of clients and additional needs. Food for People also included other questions regarding health care and other social service needs at the request of other community organizations.

The Community Benefits Department of St. Joseph Health System – Humboldt County generously provided funding for the survey administration and analysis. The Community Benefits Department of St. Joseph Health System – Humboldt County sponsors, develops, manages and sustains healthy community initiatives for the vulnerable populations of Humboldt County. The Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services generously provided funding for the analysis. The Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services aims to reduce poverty and connect people and communities to opportunities for health and wellness. The California Center for Rural Policy at Humboldt State University (CCRP) consulted on its administration and performed survey analysis and summary results. CCRP’s mission is to conduct research that informs policy, builds community and promotes the health and well-being of rural people and environments.


Humboldt County Community Food Assessment

This community assessment is a profile of Humboldt County’s food system “from farm to table,” and is meant to be a tool for stakeholders — farmers, consumers, nonprofits and policy makers alike. We hope this report is a resource by providing hard data, identifying food system needs, and helping target areas for change.

Report Survey: We are asking readers to give us feedback regarding the Humboldt County Community Food Assessment. Please answer this brief survey (< 5 minutes to complete) to let us know how you have used or intend to use the report, what you’d like to see improved, and what information was the most useful to you! If you are just downloading the Food Assessment now, please consider coming back to this site to take the survey when you have finished. Thank You!


Food For People’s Choice Food Pantries: The Power of Choice

Due to the economic downturn in 2007, many non-profit agencies are re-evaluating the systems they have in place to help the community. Humboldt County has been identified as having one of the highest rates of food insecurity and hunger statewide, highlighting the need for agencies that provide food for low-income people and families. One such agency is Food for People, Inc., the food bank for Humboldt County located in Eureka, California. Once economically stable families are now in need of assistance due to unemployment and increased food costs. Food pantries have identified a need for a more dignified way of seeking assistance. Instead of handing out pre-filled boxes, the conception of Choice Food Pantries gives customers the independence to choose the food that they will use.


Humboldt County Case Study: Backpacks for Kids Programs

From the case study…

The Backpacks for Kids program provides food to children who are at risk of going hungry over weekends and school vacations. These breaks from school present a particularly challenging situation for children who depend on food programs such as free and reduced lunch to meet their nutritional needs. The Backpacks for Kids program seeks to fill this void and reduce the negative implications for a family without the means to meet their children’s dietary needs.


Think Twice – Food or Trash? Helping Address Food Insecurity in the Redwood Coast Region Through Increased Food Donation

At the close of business, what happens to the salads and sides behind glass at the grocers deli counter? Or the tasty unserved leftovers from a catered lunch meeting? Despite the growing number of hungry people in the Redwood Coast region, edible food is ending up as compost or in the trash. Food is going by the ton into the waste stream, but this can be decreased if people donate rather than throw out edible food.


Untapped Resource: Food “Waste”

Every year, thousands of tons of food enter the waste stream and must be shipped out of Humboldt County — instead of being used towards its intended function (to feed people), as evidenced by food insecure families in the area. There are environmental impacts as well. Producing food consumes water, another vital resource, and estimates show that more than one-quarter of water use is allocated towards food that is ultimately wasted. Aside from water, wasted food accounts for 300 million barrels of oil per year, or approximately 4% of U.S. consumption. In addition, food waste produces methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide, as it decomposes in landfills.