BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Restaurants and Food Trucks interested in taking part in the state's Restaurant Meals Program pilot can apply from now until the end of August, according to an announcement from the Governor.
The Restaurant Meals Program allows people with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits to use the program to purchase reduced-price meals at participating restaurants and food trucks. SNAP benefits are available to people experiencing homelessness, people with disabilities, and households with adults over the age of 60.
The goal of the program is to expand the options and locations of meals for people who may have difficulties buying and storing groceries or cooking meals for themselves.
"SNAP remains an important tool to help fight food insecurity by putting money directly into the hands of more than 600,000 households and supporting our local communities, businesses, and their employees,” Department of Transitional Assistance Acting Commissioner Mary Sheehan said in a statement. “The SNAP Restaurant Meals Program promotes equity and safety for older adults, residents with disabilities, and individuals experiencing homelessness receiving SNAP benefits, allowing many low-income households access to the same purchasing power as other customers."
Restaurants that apply will be evaluated on their ability to respond to the needs of people receiving SNAP benefits as well as on their location relative to areas that are considered to be food deserts or have high rates of chronic disease.
Interested restaurants will also need to demonstrate they can offer reduced-priced meals to the communities they serve and can serve SNAP clients in "culturally appropriate ways." Any restaurants that are accessible to people with disabilities and can provide delivery options will be "strongly considered."
Applications can be submitted from now until Aug. 31, 2022, on the state's website. The state said in a statement the plan is set to launch this fall.