SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – To expand options for people experiencing food insecurity, state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, recently passed a measure through an Illinois House committee to ensure individuals who are unable to prepare food themselves can still receive assistance through a key anti-hunger program.

“Every person deserves to have the sustenance provided by a good meal,” Harper said. “Unfortunately, far too many Illinoisans don’t have a place to prepare, store or cook food in order to receive such sustenance, and overly-restrictive policies are preventing them from getting the assistance they deserve.”

Harper introduced House Bill 3343 and recently advanced the measure out of the House Human Services Committee on a unanimous, bipartisan roll call. Harper’s bill will allow disabled, elderly and homeless people receiving assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to use SNAP benefits at certain restaurants, giving people who are physically unable to prepare food or have no place to store groceries access to prepared meals. Currently, Arizona and California offer the Restaurant Meals Program, a voluntary program under federal law, while Florida and Rhode Island are operating pilot projects. Illinois residents are currently limited in how they can use SNAP, severely restricting homeless and disabled individuals’ access to food.

“We need to make sure that our most vulnerable citizens are not going hungry,” Harper added. “This bill will allow these Illinoisans access to good meals, support local businesses and reduce hunger.”

Rep Sonya HarperRep Sonya Harper

6th District

Visit Rep Harper’s website

Springfield Office:
276-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL   62706
(217) 782-5971
(217) 558-6370 FAX

District Office:
4926 South Ashland
Chicago, IL  60609
(773) 925-6580
(773) 925-6584 FAX