Raising the Minimum Wage: Better Finances, Better Food, and Better Lives

Judy Chang, Iris Fung, Maddie Kim, Eric Lau

The data say that over 580,000 citizens in Massachusetts – equivalent to nearly the entire population of Boston – are making around the minimum wage. We want to tell this story because minimum wage earners need over double that to fully support their families; an increase in the minimum wage is needed by constituents and food aid organizations alike to sustainably reverse hunger.

Project Bread was founded in Massachusetts in 1974. Their anti-hunger efforts now include providing food coupons, running a counseling FoodSource hotline, and supporting school breakfast programs. To augment their efforts to sustainably reverse hunger, Project Bread urges constituents to advocate for legislation to increase the minimum wage. Our audience is voters, both in Massachusetts and nationwide, who might be unaware or unfamiliar of the issue, its scale, and its impact.

Our goals are two-fold: we wish to inform voters and use the power of pathos to compel them to take action and support legislation. We saw the personal story as the perfect vehicle to achieve this. We selected a story from Project Bread’s 2013 Annual Status Report on Hunger about Sam and his girlfriend and daughter, their financial and food insecurity struggles, and Project Bread’s assistance to them. To emphasize the relatable, narrative aspect of Sam’s story, it is told through a video displaying a progression of hand-drawn pictures while Sam is narrating. The viewer can connect to Sam’s struggles through his stream-of-consciousness.

Not only can viewers personally identify and connect with Sam’s story, but they can also absorb key information on the issue and act on it very easily. While the video is playing, key facts and statistics from Project Bread and the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center are shown on the side of the video as Sam introduces them in the video. They remain displayed for easy viewing and visual reinforcement of the video’s message. At the conclusion of the video, a button appears that directs to the signup page for Fight For 15, a political campaign advocating for a higher minimum wage. For viewers, this bridges the gap from understanding the issue at a personal level to acting on what they’ve learned in a positive way.

Watch the video here!