It's a known fact that workers in low-wage fast food jobs can't live on their pittance of a salary alone—heck, even their employers know it! But two new studies reveal that the burden falls squarely on taxpayers to help support workers who can't make enough money on their own. In New York State, taxpayers dish out to the tune of $708 million a year in public assistance. That's a lotta loco tacos.

According to a study by the UC Berkeley Labor Center, 60% of families in New York who rely on a fast food salary must use public assistance programs to supplement their meager income. The study also concludes that 67% of "core front-line fast-food workers" are adults over the age of 20, debunking the myth perpetuated by fast food companies that most of their workers are teens cutting their teeth in the food industry.

A separate report by the National Employment Law Project further breaks down the low-wage fast food/taxpayer burden scenario, revealing that McDonald's leaves taxpayers responsible for $1.2 billion annually (on a national scale) with YUM! Brands (KFC, Taco Bell, etc.) costing taxpayers $648 million annually. Even more staggering, the McDonald's corporation raked in $5.46 billion last year in profits with an extra $5.5 billion in dividends and stock buyback; they also pay their CEO Donald Thompson $13.7 million per year.

Fast food workers nationally and locally have staged walkouts demanding a living wage in addition to better working conditions. With one in five families trying to survive on a fast-food salary living below the poverty line—with 43% with incomes two times the federal poverty level or less—activists say it's vitally important to address the current federal minimum wage, especially since the Affordable Care Act has officially become law.