Low Fast-food Wages Come At High Public Cost, Reports Say

‘It’s not your fault’: Some furloughed by shutdown turn to charities for food

More than half of the nations 1.8million core fast-food workers rely on the federal safety net to make ends meet, the reports said. Together, they collect nearly $1.9billion through the earned income tax credit, $1billion in food stamps and $3.9billion through Medicaid and the Childrens Health Insurance Program, according to a report by economists at the University of California at Berkeleys Labor Center and the University of Illinois. More business news David Nakamura, Paul Kane and Debbi Wilgoren Bipartisan deal avoids major concessions to GOP, delays spending debate until winter. JPMorgan paying $100M, admitting manipulation of prices in settlement over $6B trading loss Associated Press The settlement with the CFTC comes less than a month after JPMorgan agreed to pay $920 million and admit fault in a deal with the SEC and other U.S. and British regulators. More business news Overall, the core fast-food workers are twice as likely to rely on public assistance than workers in other fields, said one of the reports, which examined nonmanagerial fast-food employees who work at least 11 hours a week and 27 weeks a year. Even among the 28 percent of fast-food workers who were on the job 40 hours a week, the report said, more than half relied on the federal safety net to get by. These statistics paint a picture of workers not being able to get their fair share of the largest, richest economy in the world, said Sylvia A. Allegretto, lead author of the report by the university economists, which was paid for by Fast Food Forward, a group that supports walkouts by fast-food workers. It is a good thing that we have these work supports, but they should be a last resort. Those workers are left to rely on the public safety net even though the nations seven largest publicly traded fast-food companies netted a combined $7.4billion in profits last year, while paying out $53million in salaries to their top executives and distributing $7.7billion to shareholders, according to the second report, by the National Employment Law Project, a worker advocacy group. Fast-food industry representatives disputed the findings. Their restaurants offer a valuable entry into the workforce for millions of people, they said, including the 40percent who are students. These misleading efforts use a very narrow lens and selective data to attack the industry for their own purposes, and fail to recognize that the majority of lower-wage employees work part-time to supplement a family income, said Scott DeFife, executive vice president of the National Restaurant Association.

Food Day Chicago 2013 Thoughts While Completing the Chicago Marathon

She approached the door with her head down. An attendant asked for her name, she looked up and began to sob. “It’s ok, it’s not your fault,” the volunteer said as she wrapped her arms around the crying woman. Chesapeake Cares Food Pantry, located 30 miles from the political impasse in Washington that resulted in the shutdown, put together a food giveaway tailored to affected workers not at their jobs and not being paid. Roughly 200 people received bags of frozen meat, canned vegetables and other staples on Monday morning. The shutdown hits brewers and reality TV Obama: Shutdown ‘completely unnecessary’ Senate gets closer to a deal “These folks (furloughed government employees) don’t know how to be poor,” said Rev. Robert Hahn, the head End Hunger in Calvert County, a consortium of food pantries in the area. “These folks are fish out of water and they feel humiliated, like they have lost their dignity.” This is the second offering Hahn’s group has made to federal employees. Last week, the group passed out 2,700 pounds of food to 71 different families. And if the government shutdown continues, Hahn said he anticipates his group will continue this sort of offering. The shutdown that began on October 1 has impacted hundreds of thousands of federal workers and contractors in the Washington region, including people at the epicenter of the partisan shutdown showdown in Congress. Washington-area food banks have responded to an unexpected need this fall created by the shutdown, their efforts already tested by a continued, uneven economic recovery and tough job market.

Older Americans, ages 60 and over accounted for a whooping 8.4 percent, or almost 5 million of those coping with going to bed hungry. Surprisingly, only about 60 percent of food insecure households in 2012 participated in the three federal food assistance programs. As most of us can guess, poverty can be directly tied into food insecurity. And the figures on the poverty level in this country are appalling. In 2012, 46.5 million people, that’s 15 percent of the population, lived in poverty. It is unconscionable that in the U.S., anyone should go without a meal, at any time. In early September of this year, the USDA released a report saying the food and nutritional assistance programs provided by the government had helped to increase food “security” between 2011-2012 with the addition of $6 billion to the program. Actual USDA figures show no significant change in the level of food insecurity. According to the USDA, 14.5 percent of households faced food insecurity at least sometime during 2012. The change in food insecurity overall (from 14.9 percent in 2011) was not statistically significant, they said. Additionally, figures in the very low food security category remained unchanged (5.7 percent) from the previous year, and food-insecure children also remained the same (10 percent). High unemployment, low wages, crime, broken families and disability all play a role in the causes of poverty and hunger. Yes, we have Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and any number of federal food programs.

‘Food Insecurity’ is still a big problem in the U.S. (Video)

At that time, there were no charities involved and the race was composed of mostly running purists. Jim Fixx’s iconic book, The Complete Book of Running, had come out in 1977 and the running wave was just starting. Over the years as I ran more marathons, I have tended to snub my nose as the charity runner contingent grew, thinking that they only kept the streets closed longer and were more of a nuisance than a benefit. My thinking went, real runners run marathons they don’t jog. Speed forward to this past Sundays Chicago marathon. I was a charity runner. I finished though I wouldn’t call it running. I participated and completed the course in over 6 hours, which gave me a long time to think about a lot of things. Change of fortunes, hourly jobs that take up more time than they really pay, a really low fitness level, all those factors contributed to my thinking in mid-August that I needed an exercise intervention and I decided to enter the 2013 Chicago marathon for Best Buddies Illinois , a fantastic charity supporting people with disabilities in entering the workforce, that a friend of mine was involved with. As I finished, I was surrounded by plenty of people at the back of the pack and I even managed to arrive while Goose Island was still serving beer. A beer never tastes better than at the end of a marathon or long endurance event. Thank you Goose Island!