My sources? I'm an airline pilot. I deal with those situations every time I go to work.
And more importantly, if the airline has policies that doesn't allow its employees to eat: People wont work there
If enough people dont work there, then the airline will have to adjust or fail.
If the airline cant get their planes in on time to make their consumer happy, then they will get a bad reputation and will lose revenue.
Do you not understand how markets work?
You don't understand how aviation works. It is one of the few industries which has labor (pilots) eating their young to get a job flying an airplane. In the industry we call it the Shiny Jet Syndrome (SJS). Google it.
There are people who come out of college with $200k of debt who will jump at the chance to fly a shiny jet airliner for less than $20k a year. Do you think they care that they are going to work a 14 hour day with no food? Do you think they even considered that? No. They don't care if they're getting the shakes, because they're chasing the all important turbine PIC that will let them land a job at a bigger and better airline (the grass is always greener). The term is "paying your dues" to get qualified for that better job.
When you fly on a regional airline, there's a high likelihood that the pilot sitting in the right seat qualifies for food stamps. The companies get away with this because they have a stack of resumes a foot tall on their HR desk of people literally begging to let them fly their airplanes.
It's not unusual to fly 8 legs in one day with 20-30 minutes between each leg. It's scheduled that way, you think that's enough time to go get food? Flight attendants have it even worse, most places have policies that prohibit them eating in front of passengers, so even if they could get food, how are they going to eat it?
I haven't even scratched the surface, and yet there are people banging down the doors of the HR department screaming and crying to let them come fly airplanes.
There were companies that actually charged people to sit in the right seat of an airliner. Look up TAB Express and Gulfstream (the airline, not the manufacturer). Yes, you as a passenger would purchase a ticket to fly on this airliner and the first officer was also paying to be there. How much experience do you think he had?
The only reason you don't have airplanes falling out of the sky due to shoddy maintenance and overworked crews are because of federal regulations, most of which came to pass because somebody died.