U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy and Rep. Jimmy Panetta have introduced a bill that would expand restaurant access for SNAP recipients.
The COVID-19 Anti-Hunger Restaurant Relief for You Act of 2020 would allow all SNAP recipients to use their benefits at restaurants during emergencies such as COVID-19.
Currently, the only way for some SNAP recipients to use their benefits at restaurants is through the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP), which allows certain SNAP recipients such as seniors and those with disabilities to use their benefits at participating restaurants. However, only three states participate in the voluntary program.
Groups such as International Foodservice Distributors Association have recently called on leaders to expand restaurant access to SNAP recipients, saying that it will help keep them safe and fed while also keeping restaurant staff employed.