Assembly Passes Legislation to Enter New York into SNAP Restaurant Meals Program

Speaker Carl Heastie and Assemblymember Karines Reyes today announced the Assembly has passed legislation that would enter New York State into the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) (A.1524, Reyes). The program helps ensure that the elderly, disabled and/or homeless are able to use their benefits to purchase prepared or hot food from participating restaurants, delis and grocery stores.

“The Assembly Majority is committed to ensuring that every New Yorker has access to food,” said Speaker Heastie. “SNAP benefits help families secure the food they need to prepare a nutritious meal, but the Restaurant Meals Program helps ensure our most vulnerable populations also have access to a warm prepared meal.”

“For many New Yorkers, food insecurity is not just about being able to purchase groceries,” said Assemblymember Reyes. “For the elderly, disabled or homeless, access to a nutritious meal includes meal preparation – something many of us take for granted. Participation in the Restaurant Meals Program will ensure more New Yorkers are able to enjoy a nutritious prepared meal and provide a financial benefit to our restaurants that are seeking to reopen.”

Currently in New York State, SNAP recipients cannot use their benefits to purchase prepared foods. This policy prevents many populations that do not have access to grocery stores or cooking or food preparation options from fully utilizing their benefits to access a nutritious meal. This legislation requires New York to enter the RMP, which allows homeless, elderly and disabled SNAP recipients to use their benefits for prepared or hot food from participating restaurants, delis and grocery stores at reduced prices.