Originally Published by Canyon News on October 18 at 9:47am.
WESTWOOD—According to a study conducted by Occidental College’s Urban & Environmental Policy Institute, thousands of UC employees are food insecure because of low wages. The study, released on Monday, October 17 indicated that 70 percent of employees lack food security and 45 percent skip meals to reduce the price of their food intake. A rate five times the national average.
A few months earlier a similar study was released indicating that 1 in 5 students on UC campuses have gone hungry this year.
Peter Dreier, Faculty and Professor of Politics, Urban and Environmental Policy and Chair at the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute released a statement along with the study com- paring the University of California to a “public sector ver- sion of Walmart.”
“From both a moral and a common sense perspective, that is simply unacceptable,” said Dreier.
The majority of the surveyors were full-time staff, making a median wage of $22.65 an hour. Eighty percent of the respondents who reported food insecurity also confirmed they had to choose between purchasing food or paying rent and utilities. Sixty per- cent claimed making choices between food or healthcare/medicine.
Over 2,890 University of California administrative, clerical and support staff employees participated in the survey. The report was supplemented by Teamsters Local 2010, an independent union of over 14,000 clerical employees at the University of California. The study used the food security questions developed by the United States Department of Agri- culture.
The study reported that 22 percent of the respondents were located on the UCLA campus in Westwood. The California Budget Center reported that a single parent of two children needs to make $77,546 a year ($6,462 a month and about $37 an hour) in Los Angeles to cover basic expenses.