Alicia Cook was down to $22 on Monday, a month after her hours as head banquet chef at a hotel in Nacogdoches, Texas, had dwindled to almost nothing.

Her $10.25-an-hour wage had been enough to live on but not enough to save. A few hours of work over Easter will get her another $100.

“It’s five $20 bills to rub together and I got to give away…

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