PEORIA (WEEK) – Under a new program, some recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Illinois will now be able to use food stamps at participating fast food restaurants and other establishments which serve hot food. The lawmakers behind this bill say it is designed to help people who can’t cook for themselves.
“And the real focus is more so on the elderly, on those that are disabled, that don’t have the means in which even if they buy something at the grocery store to safely either prepare it, cook it, warm it or have kitchen in which to do it,” said Republican State Representative Dan Brady
Brady added that the Program is “opt in” so only restaurants that want to will allow food stamps. Democratic State Senator Dave Koehler agreed, saying the program is meant to give those in need an extra helping hand.
Via email he said, “This legislation was about making the lives of people with disabilities and the elderly a little more convenient.”
With all the attention this new program got on social media, we turned to Facebook to see what our viewers thought about this new policy.
Chris Kelley told us he doesn’t agree with it, writing in a comment that there are programs like meals on wheels and the Southside Mission that already provide hot food services.
Holly Cooper said the benefits should be used for healthy foods but that fast food should still be an option of healthier alternatives are not readily available.
Brady says once rules are set for the program, snap recipients who qualify will be sent a list of participating vendors.