Entries Tagged 'Food' ↓

Stop the Server Tip-Out in SD!

Someone sent me this the other day. They want to propose legislation next year in SD to end ‘involuntary’ tip-outs to support staff. Many people don’t realize that servers only get paid $2.13 an hour in SD, they depend on their tips. Many restaurants require (especially national franchises) that the servers tip out support staff (so the restaurants can avoid paying them). It can be upwards of 20% of your tips. When I worked full-time as a server a couple of years ago I figured I tipped out (my tips) about $4,500 a year. This is money I earned. The fact of it is, when you tell customers about it, it infuriates them that not only that we are paid a low wage, but we have to give our tips away. Support the movement END tip share in SD!

If a bill comes forward next year in Pierre, I plan to testify.

Zimmern’s thoughts on raising the minimum wage

While, we most famously know Andrew from his ‘Bizarre Foods’ gig (and his short stint on my site in the form of toons) he is also a food columnist and radio host. He writes for Mpls St. Paul magazine. His column in the past issue was about raising the minimum wage for hospitality workers in Minnesota. While the article focuses on that state, it also touches on a National trend to pay workers more;

Today, 52 percent of families of fast-food workers are forced to rely on public assistance programs to make ends meet for food, rent, and health care. That’s DOUBLE the percentage of jobs in all other economic sectors. You see, only 13 percent of these food workers get health insurance through work, compared to 59 percent of other working Americans. That costs us almost $7 billion a year. Jobs in corporate fast-food sectors simply don’t offer living wages, even at full time, which is defined as 40 hours per week. About 67 percent of front-line fast-food workers are older than 20; these aren’t high schoolers. Almost 68 percent are primary earners in their families, and more than 25 percent are raising children. Spending on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program for fast-food workers’ families is almost $4 billion nationally. Hourly wages average $16.57 nationally but are only $8.69 for fast-food workers. I asked five friends today to fill in this blank: 73 percent of fast-food workers are _______. They all guessed ethnicities. The answer is women. Wanna make a difference for women in America? Raise the minimum wage.


What was I telling you about the false hope of low unemployment?


“This sure beats the heck out of the Ramen noodles and cardboard sandwich I had for dinner last night.”

While Mayor Huether likes to brag about Building Permits and Low Unemployment, our cafeterias in our schools are turning into The Banquet;

Almost half the children in elementary school in Sioux Falls signed up for free or reduced lunch last year, an alarming jump of 5 percentage points and about double the rate of suburban districts.

(In 2012 there was approximately 23,000 students in SF. You are basically looking at about 11,000 students getting free or reduced lunches).

That can’t be right!? We have low unemployment and developers building like crazy. The fact is, that while businesses in our community are enjoying climbing out of this recession, they are not passing that good fortune unto their employees;

“It does seem like we’re seeing more million dollar-plus houses, and seeing more pressure on The Banquet, St. Francis House, rental housing assistance,” Nesiba said. “They’re growing simultaneously. It’s an interesting contradiction.”

Come on Professor Nesiba, don’t you believe in ‘trickle down economics’? If all these peeps in Sioux Falls are making so much money, shouldn’t it be coming our way? And here’s the kicker, stats I have been searching for;

For school board members, the increase in poverty figures shines a light on low wages in the region. South Dakota Division of Labor statistics show that half the workforce in the four-county Sioux Falls Metropolitan Area earns less than $15 an hour — about $31,000 per year.

Now think about that. It is about what I earn in a year. I’m single, have no debt (car paid for) and after refinancing my house, I pay about half for my mortgage compared to what friends of mine pay for rent for a two bedroom apartment. I invest about $200 a month, save about $200 a month and spend about $200 a month on entertainment (vices). Now take that wage and support a family of three on it. It’s ludicrous, and virtually impossible, especially with how high rent is in Sioux Falls;

The availability of affordable housing probably contributes to the poverty gap between the city and the suburbs, Nesiba said. Young people and families just starting out are more likely to live in the city, Nesiba said. “There is still a shortage of affordable housing in Sioux Falls, but there are more lower-income families that end up living here rather than in Tea, Brandon or in Lincoln County, because the jobs are here,” Nesiba added. “We have a very low unemployment rate, but there are so many people that are working lower-wage jobs, and a higher number of people working two or more jobs.”

This is why I have said over and over again, that I only support TIF’s for affordable housing, and smaller apartment owners that want to fix up their units. When we hand out TIF’s to luxury hotels, retail giants and condos, not only are we sending a bad message, we are taking money out of the county and school district’s coffers. You know, the guys who educate and protect our community.

Sioux Falls, and South Dakota is run amuck in corporate welfare, that not only takes away from public services, it offers NO accountability to the ones receiving it (a promise of better paying jobs – NOT more jobs). But when you have a former subprime credit card huckster running the city and Pierre looking more like Watergate every day, what do you expect?

The Pure Deliciousness of M.B. Haskett

Not sure if you have visited this place, but I accidentally started liking the place after having Sunday Breakfast there (The Crispin is always cold :) He features different specials, but he makes fantastic crepes, bread pudding French toast and quiche, and MB’s eggs are always poached (the best way to have an egg).

The owner Michael is a trained chef (I forget what prestigious school he went to) but his meals are truly gourmet, and he is a great addition to Downtown.

21,231 of Minnehaha County residents receive SNAP

I often cringe when I hear our mayor talk about the 3% unemployment rate in Sioux Falls, because when you compare that rate to how many people are receiving food stamps, something isn’t adding up. Sioux Falls is a bastion of ‘working poor’ who may have a job or several, but still must depend on government programs to get by and feed their families. Of that 3% rate, I am curious how many of these people are ‘underemployed’ or are working 50-60 hours a week and several jobs.

I challenge our finance director and mayor to give us the ‘real’ numbers when it comes to employment in SF.

DOC, County by County: WEB_SNAP_July2013

Who says there is no such thing as a free lunch?

Riverfest’s poor food vendor planning pays off

I would say Riverfest was a success in bringing people downtown. The irony is the poor planning on having food vendors ironically paid off for DT restaurants. Almost every restaurant on Phillips was full or on a wait. Maybe organizers did that on purpose so that fest goers would dine at DT eateries. Either way, it paid off.

The other irony of it was everyone had to leave the river front to get a bite to eat (unless you ate at Falls Landing or Wild Sage).

So Riverfest brought people to the river, then pushed them to the main drag and attraction of DT, Phillips Avenue, not the Sioux River.

I’m just saying.

Oh Snap! Snooki Noem busted again for being a hypocrite (H/T – Helga)

New analysis finds that 14 members of Congress voted to continue farm subsidies from which they personally benefit while failing to continue nutrition aid for 47 million Americans. These members of


· Are each Republicans;

· Have a total net worth of up to $124.5  million;

· Have received a total of at least $7.2 million in

farm subsidies;

· Each previously voted to gut the SNAP

program by giving states large financial incentives to kick families off SNAP.

Rep. Kristi Noem

RepublicanSouth Dakota  At-Large

Total Farm Subsidies Received: $503,751*

Net Worth: -$464,992 to  $674,999

Individuals in Noems home county,  Hamlin County,

receiving SNAP Benefits: 462  (7% of Hamlin Countys


Vote on Southerland Amendment to H.R 1947 to Gut

SNAP: Rep. Noem voted YES on an amendment to gut

the SNAP program by giving subsidies to states that cut

off familiesbenefits.

Vote on H.R. 2642: Rep. Noem voted YES  to provide

farm subsidies for himself while allowing authorization

to expire for nutrition programs including  SNAP.

*Total subsidies do not include any possible federal  payments

Bread for the World, Advocacy Project legislative updates


Here are some bills that would have an effect on low-income children and families in South Dakota. We know that money is tight in these homes, especially with rising food prices and utility bills. I am taking the liberty of suggesting whether to support or not, but you can assess them given the low-income people you know.
On taxes:
HB 1154 would help by shifting tax from food to non-food. The state’s portion of the food tax would drop from 4% to 0%, while non-food would compensate going from 4% to 4.35%. The many low-income people we have interviewed about this plan have thought it a good idea that would help them. Even people with food stamps like the idea, because they are hoping to get off food stamps, and their neighbors are paying tax on their food.
Special focus: House Taxation Committee – Rep’s Duvall, Erickson, Feinstein, Greenfield, Hunhoff(Bernie), Kirschman, Latterell, Miller, Novstrup(David), Peterson, Rasmussen, Rozum, Russell, Solum, Wick
HB 1193 would raise the state’s portion of sales tax from 4% to 5%. It states no particular purpose. Sales tax is a regressive tax. We should raise it only for a very good purpose that allows the low-income households to come out ahead.
Special focus: House Taxation Committee – Rep’s Duvall, Erickson, Feinstein, Greenfield, Hunhoff(Bernie), Kirschman, Latterell, Miller, Novstrup(David), Peterson, Rasmussen, Rozum, Russell, Solum, Wick
OPPOSE, unless amended
SB 172 would raise the sales tax in June, July and August for “support of the state government”.  Unfortunately they did not exempt food or utilities. Summer is when families have the most expense for food for their faat-growing, physically active school-age children.  We can suggest that this bill be amended so that when this tax goes up for those summer months, at the same time, it could be dropped one percent or more on food.
Special focus: Senate Appropriations Committee – Senators Adelstein, Heineman (Phyllis), Jones, Novstrup (Al), Peters, Sutton, Tidemann, Van Gerpen, White
On healthcare:
SB 140 would allow more low-income pregnant women to get medical coverage. It would allow enough funds to raise the income for eligibility a little higher. The payoff can be huge when pregnancy care prevents even one life-long disability and its expenses.
Special focus: Senate Appropriations Committee – Senators Adelstein, Heineman(Phyllis), Jones, Novstrup(Al), Peters, Sutton, Tidemann, Van Gerpen, White
The Medicaid option in the Affordable Care Act. This would help 48,000 low-income adults get medical coverage. Most of them will not be eligible for the newly affordable policies that will be offered next year. Some of these adults are parents of children who have Medicaid. It is really important for children to have healthy parents. Adults with no children need coverage too. Some have health problems that could be solved making them more able to function in society. (On this topic, my hunch is that philosophy is more the issue than money. Most of the funds would be federal.)
Special focus: We would like to convince all legislators and the governor of the value of this.
On criminal justice reforms
SUPPORT helpful provisions in SB 70 that would allow out-of-penitentiary placement for crimes like drugs and alcohol, which can be monitored in home communities. This would mean more parents could be in the home with their children and also able to go to their jobs to support their families. Families could be less destitute and children more attended to.
I hope this is a helpful start at looking at some of this year’s bills and suggesting topics for the weekend public or private sessions with legislators. Other bills may yet show up as impacting low-income children and families especially. Don’t wait too long to make your contacts. The session goes fast. Thanks for being the voices people need.
Bread for the World members,

You and your friends are invited to First Lutheran Church next Sunday, Feb. 3, for the presentations by our Bread for the World staffer Tammy Walhof. (You don’t need to be a Lutheran to come, even to come to the worship service there.)

If you have been to her presentations before, you know how interesting they are. We are so blessed to be in her region.
Time:  adult education hours, 9:30am and 11:00 am, your choice.
Place: First Lutheran-Sioux Falls, 327 S. Dakota Ave, Friendship Room. When you come in the main doors off the parking lot, take a left and go downstairs. (I am sure there would be a wheelchair accessible way to get there too – just ask.)
Topic: “A place at the table: Ending hunger in God’s world”
Tremendous progress has been made in dramatically reducing hunger and poverty around the world. Churches play an important role in “serving our neighbor.”  Yet in our country, both poverty and hunger are on the rise. What’s been accomplished, and what still needs to be done? Bread for the World Senior Organizer Tammy Walhof answers those questions and more.
Food: Also there on Sunday, you can eat at the Belgian Waffle Breakfast, 9am-1pm, $6 ahead or $6.50 at the door. Children under 5 eat free.
I hope some BFW folks can come. Then come to Pierre with us for Bread Days if you can. Once again, here is the info about that:


Ugly Table #75