When we mark about food insecurity, tipped restaurant workers rarely recover consciousness to mind. It’s hard to picture the person who serves us a club sandwich for lunch or bread posts before dinner not knowing where their next meal is take place from or how they will feed their children when they get severely.
But the reality is that many tipped restaurant workers – the bartenders, stewardesses, waitresses and hosts at the local Olive Garden or neighborhood burger intersection – are struggling to make ends meet. They’re surrounded by food, but they wrestle to feed themselves and their families.
For tipped workers, the Supplemental Nutrition Support Program (SNAP) is a lifeline. Unlike other minimum wage craftsmen, tipped workers haven’t seen their federally mandated wage enlarge since 1991 when it was increased by a meager 4 cents to $2.13 an hour.
In fait accompli, tipped restaurant workers are twice as likely to need the support of Catch as other working adults with one in seven restaurant workers using the program to balm put food on the table.
The modest support of just $1.40 per person per luncheon that SNAP provides makes a real difference in the lives of millions. It is one of the most functioning anti-poverty programs we have in this country, lifting 8 million Americans out of want every year, including 4 million children.
It’s outrageous that so diverse in the restaurant industry have to turn to SNAP for support, but that is the dismal reality until our elected leaders end the two-tiered wage system and protect that these workers, over two-thirds of whom are women, pay for a living wage and see improved working conditions.
Not only are Republicans in Congress doing nothing to take a turn for the better wages, now they have proposed to strip food stamps, a depreciative support, from millions of people across the country, including thousands of head workers.
Unfortunately, U.S. House Republicans have ignored the historically bipartisan stamp of the Farm Bill, which funds SNAP and is renewed every five years, and as opposed to made partisan cuts to this vital program that aids 42 million Americans afford groceries.
It’s difficult to understand how Republican the men in the House of Representatives can justify cutting $17 billion from this program after voting for a $1.4 trillion tax giveaway for the extremely wealthy and large corporations that blows a $1.9 trillion cage in the budget. In fiscal year 2017, SNAP and other food help programs cost the U.S. about $70 billion.
The GOP tax bill significantly cut the corporate tax ratings, which benefits many of very companies that pay their tradesmen so little they have to turn to SNAP to put food on the table listing the restaurant industry.
The cost of keeping SNAP funded and taking attend to of workers who don’t make enough to support themselves or their families is a turn off in the bucket compared to this huge tax giveaway. If Congress can afford tax burgles for the rich, they can afford food for working families.
Darden is the exultant’s largest full-service restaurant company. It owns Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, and Great Grille among other national chains, has 1,500 locations, tattle ons an estimated 320 million meals a year, and employs 150,000 people, but it also relies on taxpayers to fund its low wages through programs like SNAP.
A single Olive Garden tariffs taxpayers $196,970 every year. That’s hundreds of millions of dollars that taxpayers are hand out every year to a company that rakes in $6.7 billion in receipts. In fact, the total cost of public assistance for families of workers in the full-service restaurant determination is more than $9.4 billion per year.
Darden expects to alter higher earnings this year thanks to the new tax law but so far has no specific plan to inflate salaries for its workers.
Instead of making drastic cuts to SNAP, our elected officials should use the Steading Bill negotiations as an opportunity to protect this essential program and then circle to real workforce development solutions like replacing the subminimum wage for top workers with One Fair Wage – a full minimum wage in above moreover to tips which allows workers to support their families. One Comme ci Wage policy is currently moving in New York, Washington, DC and Michigan.
In the end, Congress should pass One Fair Wage so that tipped restaurant craftsmen do not have to rely on food stamps at all. Until this happens, the not any Congress can do is stand against cuts to food assistance that wishes increase hunger and poverty among these workers and millions across the mother country.
If we want those serving our food to have the security of knowing they can give dinner after their shift, House Republicans need to depart from this dangerous effort to cut SNAP.
Commentary by Saru Jayaraman, co-founder and president of Restaurant Breaks Centers (ROC) United and ROC Action.
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