Illinois bill would allow SNAP benefits to be used to buy fast food

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) - A new bill in the Illinois House would allow people to use food stamps to buy fast food.

House Bill 3343 would create a Restaurant Meals Program as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP.) If passed, SNAP recipients would be able to use their monthly allowance to purchase meals from restaurants.

Currently, SNAP benefits can be redeemed at grocery stores or farmer's markets.

Only the elderly, disabled, homeless people and their spouses, would qualify.

“Somebody who's homeless, for example, they don't have a place to prepare that food or somebody who's disabled, they're not able to come home and cook a meal themselves,” State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) told WICS.

Although Demmer supports the bill, but he also has some concerns.

“The prices of foods at restaurants are higher than what it might be at the grocery store and so, there's a little bit of a trade-off there. So we want to make sure people aren't running out of benefits at the end of the month,” Demmer said.

California and Arizona currently have a similar program.

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