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You can use food stamps in restaurants in these 8 states

Food stamps are now known as SNAP benefits.

SNAP benefits

In 8 states, you can now use these benefits in restaurants.

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What is SNAP?

The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) is eligible to low-income families and individuals. The benefits are paid out monthly and vary by state. Read more about it here.

The money for healthy foods is loaded onto an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card. It can be used like a debit card, but can only be used for food at an authorized store.

SNAP is state run, so you’ll have to apply within your state. Every state has different application forms and processes.

The federal government is allowing states to participate in the SNAP restaurant meals program (RMP). Although federally funded, it is state run. RMP allows SNAP recipients that are elderly homeless or disabled to buy food at a restaurant. They can pay with their EBT card.

Participating restaurants must offer meals at discounted prices. This can be a great opportunity for a hot meal since hot items can’t be bought with an EBT card in grocery stores.

Which states have the restaurant meals program?

Eight states have opted into the RMP. The program is most widely available in Arizona and California.

Some cities in Hawaii, Michigan, Maryland, and Rhode Island offer the program.

New York and Illinois have recently passed laws allowing state social services agencies to apply to the federal program.

Missouri Senate passed legislation granting more than 182,000 eligible households to take advantage of RMP. It is now moving to the House to be voted on. If passed, Missouri’s Governor will then need to sign it in order for it to be implemented.


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