New law allows people to use SNAP benefits for fast food in Illinois

Photo Credit: Joey / CC BY 2.0 / MGN
Photo Credit: Joey / CC BY 2.0 / MGN(KALB)
Published: Jul. 23, 2019 at 12:20 PM CDT
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A newly-signed law allows people to use SNAP benefits to buy fast food in Illinois.

The option comes as part of

​, which creates a Restaurant Meals Program as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed HB 3343 into law last Friday.

Only a select number of recipients can use their monthly allowance to purchase meals from restaurants. The option is available to people over 60 years old, people with disabilities and homeless people who use food stamps.

Previously, SNAP recipients could only use benefits to purchase food at grocery stores or farmer's markets in Illinois.

Rep. Sonya Harper (IL-6th District) filed the bill, newly-turned-law, in February. It takes effect immediately and requires the Restaurant Meals Program to take effect at participating restaurants no later than January 1, 2020.