Introducing the Restaurant Meals Program for New York State. This is the latest program that New York Governor Kathy Hochul has signed into law.

This legislation is designed to help homeless, disabled and elderly Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients purchase prepared meals from participating restaurants.

"It's unconscionable that in a state as prosperous as New York, many residents still struggle to get enough food to feed their families," Governor Hochul said. "The vital actions we're taking—establishing two restaurant programs to help the most vulnerable New Yorkers feed themselves and help restaurants recover from this terrible pandemic—will work in tandem to put food on the table in homes across the state. This pandemic continues to impact the wallets and homes of a vast number of New Yorkers, and we're taking any and all actions to help them support themselves and their loved ones."

The legislation mandates the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance to apply for USDA approval to authorize the program. Restaurants can apply for the Resiliency Program on the New York State website. The statewide Restaurant Meals Program, once approved by USDA, would allow SNAP recipients to use their benefits for prepared or hot food from participating restaurants and delis at reduced prices.

Prior to the signing of this legislation, SNAP recipients in New York State could not use their benefits to purchase prepared goods. This prevented many residents that do not have access to cooking or food preparation on their own from using SNAP benefits. The Governor also announced the launch of the $25 million Restaurant Resiliency Program to provide relief to the restaurant industry. You can read more on that here.

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