Lakeside Haven, a charming eatery in Charlotte, has achieved the distinction of being the first restaurant in New York State to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP benefits) by allowing recipients to use their benefits for purchasing hot meals. This initiative falls under the Restaurant Meals Program, spearheaded by New York’s Office of Temporary Disability Assistance.
This novel endeavor aims to provide support to SNAP recipients who are senior citizens, disabled, or unhoused. To qualify, individuals must have SNAP benefits, marking a progressive step toward addressing the diverse needs of the community.
Food Stamps Now Accepted in This NY Restaurant
Karin Williams, the proud owner of Lakeside Haven, expressed her joy and enthusiasm for the restaurant’s involvement in this program, emphasizing the positive impact it can have on the local community.
“Charlotte is a community of many seniors, many who are facing financial struggles, and we thought what better way to help out with that than to participate in something that allows them to come in and have a hot meal,” said Williams.
“For many seniors, this is the only outing they get during the day. We’re the only people they talk to. For some of them, it’s like the highlight of their day to come in and if they’re struggling financially and that’s not possible, then why not find a way to fix that?”
Lakeside Haven Family Restaurant Accepting SNAP Benefits
The acceptance of Lakeside Haven into the Restaurant Meals Program is expected to pave the way for other approved restaurants to join in the coming months, according to the Office of Temporary Disability Assistance.
Reflecting on the origins of Karin’s Lakeside Haven Family Restaurant, the establishment was born in the spring of 2016, driven by a desire to create a welcoming space for the community. Lakeside Haven, discovered by chance and acquired with heartfelt enthusiasm, has become a cherished establishment for both the owners and the community.
Beyond being a business transaction, the restaurant purchase has enriched the owners with intangible treasures: wonderful customers, new friends, and a supportive community. Committed to serving homemade food and spreading good cheer, Lakeside Haven continues to be a beacon of warmth and hospitality in the heart of Charlotte.
Why Do Restaurants accept SNAP Benefits?
Not all restaurants accept SNAP benefits, and not all SNAP recipients can use them at restaurants. This depends on two main factors. Only states that choose to participate in the SNAP Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) allow residents to use SNAP benefits at restaurants. As of January 2024, only 10 states have active RMPs.
Recipient eligibility: Even within participating states, only specific groups of SNAP recipients are eligible for the RMP. These typically include people who are:
- Elderly (60 years or older)
- Experiencing homelessness
For restaurants that choose to participate in the RMP, there are potential benefits, including a larger customer base, financial stability and investing in the wellbeing of the community by helping vulnerable populations.