Ironically, about a third of restaurant workers are considered “food insecure” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s definition. “Food insecurity” means that you don’t have the ability to buy nutritional, safe food. Many of the people who put food on our plate actually—literally—can’t afford to eat it or to feed it to their own families. Like Natasha, 20 percent of restaurant workers rely on food stamps—so says Restaurant Opportunity Centers United. According to its report, between 2009 and 2013 Americans subsidized the restaurant industry’s low wages with nearly $ 9.5 billion of tax money through programs such as SNAP (food stamps), public housing and Section 8 housing subsidies, and Medicaid.
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