Skip to Main Content

Use SNAP EBT Benefits at Restaurants

If you receive SNAP/Link benefits, formerly known as food stamps, you may be eligible to use your SNAP EBT benefits at restaurants.

The Illinois SNAP Restaurant Meals Program

Increasing Access to Food For Those Without a Kitchen or the Ability to Cook Food

Through the new SNAP Restaurant Meals Program in Illinois, eligible individuals who receive SNAP benefits AND are aged 60 and older OR have a disability OR are experiencing homelessness may use their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to purchase hot meals from participating restaurants.

Get Answers To Your Questions

How to Use SNAP EBT at Restaurants

To use your SNAP/Link benefits at restaurants, you must be an Illinois resident AND everyone in your household must fall within one of the following groups:

  • Individuals experiencing homelessness
  • Individuals aged 60 and older
  • Individuals living with disabilities and receiving governmental disability payments

If your household receives SNAP benefits, all household members other than your spouse must fall within one of these three categories. If you only live with your spouse, who does not fall into one of the three eligibility categories, you are still eligible.

If you are eligible to use your SNAP EBT benefits at restaurants, you must visit a participating restaurant. You do not need to apply to use your benefits at a participating restaurant if you are eligible.

website-images

Restaurant Participating in the SNAP Restaurant Meals Program

Participating restaurants are located within Franklin County and select Cook County zip codes.

Six of eight participating restaurants are now accepting SNAP EBT payment for a hot meal:

  • Firehouse Bakery & Grill – 720 E. 75th St., Chicago, 60619
  • JJ Fish and Chicken – 47 W. 79th St., Chicago, 60620
  • Doughboy’s Chicago – 352 E. 71st St., Chicago, 60619
  • BJ’s Market & Bakery – 1737 E. 95th St., Chicago, 60617
  • S2 Express Grill – 129 E. 103rd St., Chicago, 60628
  • Ocean Wave Soul & Seafood – 8655 Jeffery Blvd., Chicago, 60617

Please check back for an update on the remaining two restaurants that will be eligible for SNAP payment.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Am I Eligible to Use My SNAP EBT Benefits at Restaurants And Other FAQs

Get answers to frequently asked questions about how to use SNAP EBT at restaurants through the Restaurant Meals Program.

When signing up for SNAP, you enter your age and indicated if you or your household members have a disability or were experiencing homelessness. The three factors considered in who is eligible to participate in the Restaurant Meal Program pilot within Illinois include:

  • Individuals aged 60 or older
  • Individuals with a disability and receiving SSI
  • Individuals experiencing homelessness

If you fall into any of the above categories, you are eligible to use your SNAP benefits at select restaurants. If there is more than one person in the household, all members of the household other than your spouse must fall within one of the three qualifying categories. If you only live with your spouse, who does not fall into one of the three eligibility categories, you are still eligible.

Participating restaurants are located within Franklin County and select Cook County zip codes. View a map of the participating restaurants above.

Yes! In addition to the above Cook County communities, Franklin County will have two restaurants participating in the pilot. Please check back for an update on the remaining restaurants that will be eligible for SNAP payment.

No, you do not need to fill out any additional forms or applications to use to become eligible. Eligible participants are automatically enrolled in the program.

Yes. All restaurants participating in the pilot will have seating available, though meals purchased with SNAP benefits at participating restaurants do not need to be consumed at the restaurant.

The state issued EBT equipment to all participating restaurants which have an Automated Eligibility Identifier. This enables the restaurant to automatically identify if an EBT card can be processed for the Restaurant Meals Program.

Yes! If your household fall within one of the three eligibility criteria (over age 60, living with a disability or experiencing homelessness), you are eligible to use your SNAP benefits at participating restaurants.

No. All household members, except for the eligible individual’s spouse, must qualify within one of the three categories in order to use household SNAP benefits to purchase a hot meal at participating restaurants. If you are eligible and only live with your spouse, who does not fall into one of the three eligibility categories, you are still eligible.

A Restaurant Meals Program poster will be provided for placement on each business’ door or window. Look for the poster below to identify restaurants participating in the Restaurant Meals Program.

RMP Poster

You only need to bring your SNAP/Link card. The participating restaurants will have a card reader which confirms who is eligible to participate by the swipe of your Link card.

Upon implementation, DHS will review cases with the special indicator and if a Redetermination was processed within six months of implementation, the certification period will be extended. Otherwise, the household would not be reviewed for the Restaurant Meals Program until the next redetermination.

It is recommended that you contact DHS to report any changes to ability and housing to ensure you will become eligible for restaurant meals at your next redetermination. Changes in age do not require additional reporting.

Any member of your household can use the SNAP/Link card to food shop. Their name or picture does NOT need to be on the card.

You can also give your LINK card and PIN temporarily to a trusted friend or relative to food shop or pick up a restaurant meal for you. It is recommended that you change your PIN after another individual uses your card on your behalf.

You can check your Link EBT account balance and transactions online or call 1-800-678-LINK (5465).

You can also visit Manage My Case to see if you are indicated as eligible to participate in the Restaurant Meals Program pilot.

For questions about the Restaurant Meals Program pilot or SNAP enrollment and eligibility, you can contact:

For questions on restaurant offerings, please contact the participating restaurant directly.

Oranges

Have Questions About Your SNAP Benefits? We Can Help!

Get answers to your questions or free help applying for benefits for you and your family.

Get Help With Food and Medical Benefits