More Americans, Including Marylanders, Can Use Food Stamps for Restaurants, Prepared Meals

Maryland resident Rhona Reiss began speaking out about gaps in the food stamp program the day she learned it wouldn’t cover rotisserie chicken. Under long-standing federal policy, benefits can’t be used to buy hot or prepared foods — even for older adults like Reiss, who is 77.

But that policy is shifting in Maryland and in states across the country. In the past two years, six states have opted in to a little-used federal program that allows older adults to use their food benefits on select, low-cost restaurant meals.