By Allison Linn, CNBC Digital
Every time you go to a fast-food restaurant, you have a 1 in 5 chance of being served by a worker who’s living in poverty.
A substantial number of workers who serve up your fast food aren’t making enough to get by, and are instead living in poverty or relying on government programs such as food stamps, a new report finds.
On average, 20 percent of front-line fast-food workers were living in households with incomes below the poverty line over the years that the researchers studied. That compares to just 5 percent of workers as a whole, according to the report released Tuesday by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education and the University of Illinois’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning,
The report also found that, on average, 24 percent of households that included a nonmanagerial fast-food worker were relying on food stamps — now known as SNAP — during the years they studied.
In addition, 19 percent lived in a household in which an adult relied on Medicaid, and 18 percent were in a household in which a child was on Medicaid or an equivalent program.
NBC NEWS/THE GRIO
By Carrie Healey
Workers going on strike are demanding $15 an hour wages, mirroring the demand for $2 an hour the organizers of the 1963 march made.
The average fast-food employee earns minimum wage.
In New York City minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
“It’s noisy, it’s really hot, fast, they rush you,” McDonald’s employee Nathalia Sepulveda told theGrio in late July during a previous fast-food walkout. ”Sometimes you don’t even get breaks. All for $7.25? It’s crazy.”
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the average wage for combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast-food, is $8.68 an hour.
“I’ve been spending time with these fast food workers, retail workers,” President of the NAACP Ben Jealous said on MSNBC Sunday. ”Folks are making $7.25″