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A Dime a Day: For Peanuts, You Can Help Food Workers Feed Their Own Families

What do you know about raising the minimum wage?

Did you know that raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.80/hour over the next 3 years and the tipped minimum wage from $2.13 to 70 percent of the regular minimum wage would have a minimal impact on food costs? Even if the entire cost of increased wages is passed on to customers, it will only cost us on average a dime a day.

That's the key finding in our new study, “A Dime a Day: the Impact of the Miller/Harkin Minimum Wage Proposal on the Price of Food,” published with the Food Labor Research Center at UC Berkeley, the Food Chain Workers Alliance, and the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United on October 24, 2012, Food Day.

Right now, 50 percent of food workers earn less than the poverty line for a family of three, and food workers rely on food stamps at 1.5 times the average rate. This means that the people who feed us often have difficulty feeding their own families. Raising the minimum wage would help 8 million low-wage food workers, in addition to 21 million workers in other industries, to meet their basic needs.

You can tell Congress that as a consumer you are willing to pay an extra dime a day in food costs to raise the minimum wage for hard-working low-wage workers and that you want Congress to pass the Fair Minimum Wage Act in 2013! 10 cents! It’s peanuts.

Put in your 2 cents about this 10-cent solution by signing the petition.

If you’re interested in joining us in Washington, D.C., to deliver the petition signatures on 2/13/2013, email us:

This Thanksgiving, you can show your thanks to the millions of workers in the U.S. and around the world by celebrating International Food Workers Week with us.

Photo via Flickr (cc) user Matthias Shapiro.

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