Embarrassed because sub-“living wage” stories often played in left leaning media outlets (including Mother Jones) to demonize companies such as MacDonalds and Walmart, the magazine had to clarify their position:
That’s actually not true, we’ve never advised interns or fellows to sign up for food stamps. It is true that the stipend level qualifies them for food stamps, as do most internships, and our HR director has, in the context of explaining their stipend, said as much, but we’ve never encouraged anyone to sign up.
Perhaps sensing that it wasn’t as satisfactory explanation, Mother Jones again clarified:
As a nonprofit investigative news organization, this is an issue that Mother Jones has always felt strongly about, which is why we have been paying our interns a substantive stipend longer than many the industry. It’s also why, as of January 1, our 2014 budget increases the base fellowship stipend to $1,500—an amount equivalent to slightly more than California minimum wage.
Which would put their new and improved intern wages pretty close to the hourly wage of the average chain fast food/big box retailer. Whom have been pilloried for suggesting to their employees that public assistance may be viable options to make ends meet.