CLINTON – Two restaurants in DeWitt County will be eligible for nutritional benefits as a form of payment when the state launches a pilot program that would provide prepared meals to people with disabilities, the elderly and the homeless.
The Illinois Department of Social Services is seeking applications from restaurant owners in Clinton, Farmer City and Waynesville in particular, according to a press release on Friday.
Called the “Restaurant Dining Pilot Program,” the IDHS touts the initiative both as a way to serve people who have difficulty preparing their own food and as a way to increase business in restaurants.
Some people who have an Illinois Link card through their participation in the Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program may use their card as a form of payment at authorized restaurants, as well as at the grocery store.
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“Eligible SNAP households that are homeless or households that have members aged 60 and over and / or disabled, and their spouses are qualified clients,” the department said in a press release.
The IDHS estimates that there are more than 427,000 “Elderly, Disabled and / or Homeless SNAP Customers in Illinois”.
Establishments that will be considered by the state for the program will be those that are accessible to people with disabilities, provide dining seating unless prohibited by a public health ordinance, and make 50% of food sales.
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The deadline to apply is August 13th. The Illinois Restaurant Association said the establishments will be chosen through a random draw.
DeWitt County is the only lower state location selected for the program so far; The IDHS is also leading the initiative on four postal codes in Chicago: 60617, 60619, 60620 and 60628.
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