Seven in 10 University of California workers in clerical, administrative and support services struggle to put adequate food on the table.
The finding comes from a new Occidental College study expected to be released Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The study found that 45 percent of 2,890 employees surveyed throughout the 10-campus UC system went hungry at times, and an additional 25 percent had to reduce the quality of their diet, The Times reported. The problems persisted even though most of those surveyed were full-time employees with college degrees and average earnings of $22 an hour.
Peter Dreier, an Occidental professor of politics who conducted the study with two colleagues and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 2010, told The Times the results were startling.
“This is a systemwide problem; it exists on every campus,” Dreier said. “This is not a handful of people who happen to be down on their luck. They need a living wage so they can afford to feed their families.
The food problems among UC workers were even higher than those found among students in a separate university study in June, according to The Times. The survey of nearly 9,000 UC students found that 42 percent did not have a consistent source of high-quality, nutritious food.
The study by Occidental College’s Urban and Environmental Policy Institute also found: — About 9 in 10 single-parent households reported food insecurity. — Food insecurity rates were higher among women (71.3 percent) than men (65.8 percent). — About 8 of 10 African Americans and Latinos, and 6 of 10 whites and Asians struggled with food insecurity. — Nearly 70 percent had difficulty concentrating on work at times because of hunger. — About 80 percent had to choose between buying food and paying rent or utilities.
—City News Service
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