Food stamps for fast food: EBT cards accepted at some valley res - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Food stamps for fast food: EBT cards accepted at some valley restaurants

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Some signs are going up around the valley saying you can use food stamps to buy food at some restaurants.  You may be wondering, is this legit?

It's called the Restaurant Meals Program.  It is a U.S. Department of Agriculture program that the state of Arizona operates.  It's actually tightly regulated as we found out when we looked into it.

A sign on a Jack-in-the-Box restaurant at 19th Avenue and Van Buren states "We accept EBT" -- electronic benefit transfer.  It's a food stamps payment card, but only certain people on food stamps can buy food here.

"Those are only accepted for certain categories -- homeless, disabled and elderly and have to have all members of household eligible for that service," said Tasya Peterson of the Arizona Department of Economic Services.

If you don't qualify and try to use the card, it won't work.  If you're homeless, disabled or elderly and don't have a place to cook, now you have access to a hot meal.

One of the restaurants participating in the program is 24th Street Pizza and Gyros, where they pride themselves on making homemade fresh food.

"It is fresh ground beef.  I mix it here with onions and fresh mint. I do not add anything else to it and when they bite it, they taste the meat," said Ellie Tashakor.

This is one of a growing number of restaurants allowing people with limited options a place to find something good to eat.

The Arizona Dept. of Economic Security has a list of restaurants participating in the program:
https://extranet.azdes.gov/faapolicymanual/FAA1/baggage/MealsProgramRestaurants.pdf


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