- Department of Transitional Assistance
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Releases Opportunity for Restaurants and Food Trucks to Participate in SNAP Restaurant Meals Program Pilot
Alana Davidson, Director of Communications
Boston — The Baker-Polito Administration today opened a Notice of Opportunity (NOO) to strategically onboard restaurants and food trucks for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) pilot. Eligible businesses in this pilot phase of the program include restaurants and food trucks that are locally-privately-owned and provide counter-based service and payment. Applications can be submitted through August 31, 2022.
Under federal rules, the RMP allows individuals experiencing homelessness, individuals with disabilities and households with older adults aged 60 and older to use their SNAP benefits at select, participating restaurants and food trucks that offer reduced-price meal options. Once launched, this program will expand food choice options and food access points for populations that may encounter barriers and challenges with purchasing and storing groceries, as well as cooking and preparing meals for themselves.
Restaurants and food trucks can apply now through the end of the summer. The Administration anticipates the option for clients to use their benefits at the approved businesses will begin in fall 2022. Learn more about the NOO and RMP program at Mass.gov/SNAPRestaurants.
“Opening a Notice of Opportunity to enroll restaurants and food trucks in the SNAP Restaurant Meals Program reflects the Administration’s commitment to offer Massachusetts households with culturally accessible food while supporting local communities and businesses,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders. “This effort builds on the success of the equity framework used to enroll additional Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) vendors as we continue to promote food security across the Commonwealth and a just and equitable food system and environment.”
“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,” said Department of Transitional Assistance Acting Commissioner Mary Sheehan. “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. This Notice of Opportunity is a key first step in making this critical option available to the families and individuals we serve.”
Applicants for the Notice of Opportunity will be evaluated on a multitude of criteria. These include their ability to respond to the needs of prioritized communities and eligible populations, inclusive of areas where food insecurity and rates of chronic disease have historically been disproportionately high, and areas classified as food deserts and environmental justice neighborhoods with limited existing access or other food access barriers. Businesses who demonstrate they can service SNAP clients with disabilities and those with other accessibility challenges, especially restaurants that are able to provide delivery services and food trucks that can meet clients where they live and work, will also be strongly considered. Further, applications will be evaluated on their ability to provide healthy and reduced-price food options, as well as their commitment and ties to their local communities, including their ability to serve SNAP clients in culturally appropriate ways.