SNAP Restaurant Meals Program: South Dakota Passes Bill

mother and daughter cooking at home
xavierarnau / Getty Images

South Dakota passed a bill that would allow some residents to use their food-assistance benefits to buy prepared meals, South Dakota Public Broadcasting reported.

See: SNAP Benefits — Are There Home Delivery Services That Accept EBT Cards?
Find: SNAP Benefits — When Will My Card Be Reloaded?

The bill, SB 149, is not an expansion of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program or electronic benefits transfer, but an additional use of current funds for elderly, disabled and homeless individuals and families who may be unable to prepare or store their own food, according to a statement on bill sponsor Jessica Castleberry’s website.

“The elderly with arthritis too severe to hold a knife, the disabled with limitations on how much they can lift, and the homeless who lack homes with full working kitchens — we ignore the fact that there are populations that don’t have the means to prepare or store food,” Castleberry said, according to SDPB. “Literally the poorest and most disabled among us are completely left out of our nationwide hunger assistance program.”

Make Your Money Work for You

SNAP is the largest federal nutrition assistance program, providing benefits to eligible low-income individuals and families via an EBT card that enables beneficiaries to purchase eligible food in authorized retail food stores.

See: The 15 Best Things To Buy With SNAP at Costco
Find: 21 Dollar Store Items That Give You the Best Bang for Your Buck

However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the program, says that an EBT card can’t be used at restaurants or to purchase hot food or food intended for immediate consumption unless your state participates in the SNAP Restaurant Meals Program that serves the elderly, disabled and/or homeless, and you are part of this target population, according to the department’s website. Otherwise, restaurants are not eligible to participate in SNAP.  Under the RMP, participating restaurants must offer meals at concessional prices, the department says. 

Castleberry said that the restaurant program can benefit both SNAP recipients and local businesses, according to SDPB.

However, some are against the bill, including the Department of Social Services and the South Dakota Retailers Association. Detractors say there’s insufficient data regarding the impact and outcomes of restaurant programs in other states, and they argue that the program will be burdensome to launch and administer since it requires coordination between the state, federal government and businesses that want to opt in, SDPB reported.

Make Your Money Work for You

More From GOBankingRates

About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

Best Bank Accounts of July 2022

Untitled design (1)
Close popup The GBR Closer icon

Sending you timely financial stories that you can bank on.

Sign up for our daily newsletter for the latest financial news and trending topics.

Loading...
Please enter an email.
Please enter a valid email address.
There was an unknown error. Please try again later.

For our full Privacy Policy, click here.