BOSTON — Today, the Healey-Driscoll Administration announced that 27 restaurants and food trucks have been selected to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Restaurant Meals Program pilot. The Department of Transitional Assistance will work with the selected businesses over the next several months to become federally certified SNAP restaurants and anticipates the program will open for individuals and households to use their benefits at all selected restaurants and food trucks by fall 2023.
Under federal rules, the RMP allows individuals with disabilities, households with older adults aged 60 and up, and individuals experiencing homelessness to use their SNAP benefits at select, participating restaurants and food trucks that offer reduced-price meal options. 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.
“The Healey-Driscoll Administration is committed to ensuring that the options available through SNAP are wide-ranging and reflect the communities we serve,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Kate Walsh. “These selected restaurants and food trucks are diverse and strong focal points in their communities, dedicated to providing their neighbors with access to delicious and healthy food that is also nourishing and familiar to people from around the world. This approach to the SNAP Restaurant Meals Program pilot centers on serving low-income individuals and families to help address nutrition, health, and economic inequities.”
“The SNAP Restaurant Meals Program promotes equity and safety for older adults, residents with disabilities, and individuals experiencing homelessness who receive SNAP benefits, allowing many low-income households access to the same purchasing power as other customers,” said DTA Acting Commissioner Mary Sheehan. “In addition to promoting food security, SNAP also plays an important role in supporting our local economy and communities. I look forward to our agency assisting these local businesses in onboarding – and launching this pilot for individuals and households in the near future.”
Eligible businesses in this pilot phase of the program include restaurants and food trucks that are local and privately-owned and provide counter-based service and payment. Of the selected local businesses, 77% are women-owned and 90% have owners who identify as Black, Asian and/or Hispanic/Latinx. The average meal price is $11.
“We’re beyond thrilled to see the Restaurant Meals Program finally come to life,” said CommonWealth Kitchen Executive Director Jen Faigel. “Giving low-income seniors, and disabled or homeless individuals, the option to use SNAP benefits to buy prepared meals from neighborhood restaurants and food trucks just makes sense. We’re proud to have played a small role in getting this off the ground, and grateful for DTA’s tenacity to get it done.”
Applicants were evaluated on criteria including 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. Restaurants were also 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.
The selected restaurants and food trucks will serve individuals and households across 16 communities in Massachusetts:
Las Delicias Colombiana, Revere
La Parada Dominican Kitchen, Roxbury
El Taller, Lawrence
Bella Isla Café, Chelsea
Vejigantes Restaurant, Boston
Merengue Restaurant, Roxbury
Café Reyes, MA
Thmor Da Restaurant, Revere
Cedar’s Food Mart, Springfield
Fresh Food Generation, Boston
Soleil Restaurant, Roxbury
Sabrine Bakery and Café, Malden
Brother’s Deli, Lynn
Faneek’s Coney Island, Fall River
Bridge Pizzeria, Revere
Pizza Maria, Brockton
Las Palmas Restaurant, Roslindale
New Wine Pizza , Worcester
Sazon Peru Restaurant, Lawrence
Fritay Restaurant, Mattapan
Dona Habana, Roxbury
Caribbean Classic on Wheels, Mattapan
January’s Kitchen, Roxbury
Sabrosa Venezuela, Winchendon
Cocina Lupita, Greenfield
Learn more about the RMP pilot program at Mass.gov/SNAPRestaurants.