Austin's food scene is booming, but how are its workers faring?
The city has long had HAAM (Health Alliance for Austin Musicians) as a stopgap for musicians without health care. As Austin’s food scene rises to national prominence, Karla Loeb and her partner Brian Stubbs have seen a similar need for the city's chefs, busboys, servers and even farmers.
So they founded Austin Food for Life, an organization that is trying to fill the gap of uninsured food workers.
"The majority of restaurants do not offer comprehensive healthcare. And most of the time, not eve catastrophic healthcare ... An executive chef at just a small, regular restaurant's income, is less than $40,000 a year, and they're working 60-80 hours a week."
Their first beneficiaries, the Heard family, are two chefs who incurred approximately $750,000 in medical debts, "and they had catastrophic insurance," Loeb says.
Austin Food For Life will have its next fundraiser tonight, with a tomato-themed dinner at Springdale Farm, at 7pm.