Los Angeles said it will provide $800 to thousands of food-service workers, as a 2nd stimulus plan languishes in Congress

  • Los Angeles food service workers are eligible to receive a one-time $800 payment, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday.
  • The money will come from Garcetti’s nonprofit, The Mayor’s Fund, and be provided to 4,000 low-income workers.
  • The sum of $800 is just enough to pay for two weeks’ rent on average for a one-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles, according to CoStar, a research firm specializing in real estate.
  • This announcement comes as Congress continues to try to hammer out a second stimulus package — which likely won’t include a second round $1,200 checks.
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The city of Los Angeles is offering $800 to residents who live below the federal poverty line and work with food, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday. 

“Employees in our food-service industry have had to make painful sacrifices — and we have to do everything possible to support them through this time of economic upheaval,” Garcetti said in a press release. 

The one-time payments will be provided to 4,000 people in Los Angeles, the money coming from Garcetti’s nonprofit, The Mayor’s Fund, which over the summer raised $56 million to provide direct financial assistance to those most affected by the pandemic.

The announcement comes days after Los Angeles County officials banned outdoor dining amid what they called a “terrifying” surge in COVID-19 and the same day that those in Los Angeles City proper were told to stay at home. The nation’s most populous county saw a record 7,593 cases on Tuesday.

Statewide, 11% of all Californians are employed in food service, according to the National Restaurant Association.

The Secure Emergency Relief for Vulnerable Employees initiative, or SERVE, is designed to assist food-service workers who made less than $59,000 in 2019, the poverty threshold set by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

Applicants can apply by phone or online beginning December 7. Immigration status will not be considered.

While no doubt welcome, the money will not go far. In Los Angeles, $800 is just enough to pay for two weeks of rent on an average one-bedroom apartment, as Curbed Los Angeles reported earlier this year, citing data from CoStar, a research firm specializing in real estate.

Broader federal help in the form of a second stimulus bill has languished for months in Congress, as the GOP and Democrats fail to reach a deal. This week, top Democrats signaled support for a pared-down $908 billion stimulus bill that would likely not include a second round of $1,200 checks.

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