FOOD stamp claimants who aren't able to cook meals for themselves may be eligible to use benefits at fast-food chains.
More than 41.5million Americans get help from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) every month.
The program, once known as food stamps, has a restaurant meals program, which allows participating restaurants to accept the electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards.
SNAP provides benefits to eligible low-income individuals and families.
The benefits are paid on a specific day each month, depending on your state.
The money is provided through an EBT card, which is used like a debit card, to buy food at authorized retail food stores.
You must apply for SNAP in the state in which you live, and each state has a different application form and process.
The federal government has expanded the program to allow states to participate in the SNAP restaurant meals program (RMP).
The restaurant meals program (RMP) is a state option to allow certain SNAP clients, who might not be able to prepare meals for themselves or who do not have permanent housing for storing and preparing food, to be able to buy prepared meals at restaurants with their SNAP benefits.
To be eligible for the restaurant meals program, SNAP clients must be certified for SNAP in a state that has an RMP.
All members of the household must be either:
At least seven states are recognized by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) as participants in the RMP.
The USDA is the federal agency that runs SNAP.
The following states operate a restaurant meals program:
A restaurant must submit a request for authorization to accept EBT cards.
New York is also implementing a statewide RMP pending approval from the USDA.
New York's governor signed legislation in October 2021 paving the way for eligible SNAP recipients to use their benefits for prepared or hot food from participating restaurants and delis at reduced prices.
Each restaurant will need to submit an application to their state's SNAP RMP for approval.
The following chains participate in the program in select states:
Keep in mind, not all fast-food chains accept EBT cards.
Participation will vary by location and state.
Each franchise is independently owned and/or operated, which means each restaurant will need authorization to be part of the RMP.
We explain what day of the month SNAP benefits are paid out each month.
Plus, when you need to re-certify to continue receiving SNAP benefits.
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