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Minimum Wage: I work a half hour for a gallon of milk

Minimum Wage: I work a half hour for a gallon of milk

By Peggy Jackson, 9to5 member, Atlanta, Georgia

For many families in our community, a trip to the grocery store means hours of work. I work for $8.00 an hour, just above the federal minimum wage of $7.25. Folks like me have to work a half hour to pay for a gallon of milk. Filling up the gas tank takes six hours of work.

I have worked at the same temp agency for four years. My one raise took three years to earn and was 75 cents. I’m not always guaranteed 40 hours. My income is barely enough to cover my rent and electric bills, not leaving room for much else. Raising the minimum wage would give my household a needed boost. I could contribute more to my household for groceries and bills and maybe even by myself something nice every once in awhile. Those of us earning minimum wage are trapped in a cycle of poverty because we’ll never be able to save enough money to get ahead.

I work hard. If it weren’t for subsidized housing, I don’t know how I would survive. That’s why I’m working with 9to5 to build support for the Fair Minimum Wage Act.

We’ve been working for the same minimum wage for a long time and it’s not cutting it anymore. It’s time for a raise.