US Senate Cook Bertrand Olotara: "I Still Need Food Stamps to Feed My Children"
US Senate Cook Bertrand Olotara: “I Still Need Food Stamps to Feed My Children” (Photo Credit: Donkey Hotey/Flickr)

Bertrand Olotara: “Every day, I serve food to some of the most powerful people on earth – including many of the senators who are running for president: I’m a cook for the federal contractor that runs the US Senate cafeteria. But today, they’ll have to get their meals from someone else’s hands, because I’m on strike. I am walking off my job because I want the presidential hopefuls to know that I live in poverty. Many senators canvas the country giving speeches about creating ‘opportunity’ for workers and helping our kids achieve the ‘American dream’ – most don’t seem to notice or care that workers in their own building are struggling to survive.”

“I’m a single father and I only make $12 an hour; I had to take a second job at a grocery store to make ends meet. But even though I work seven days a week – putting in 70 hours between my two jobs – I can’t manage to pay the rent, buy school supplies for my kids or even put food on the table. I hate to admit it, but I have to use food stamps so that my kids don’t go to bed hungry.”