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What Hot Foods Act Can Mean For Families And SNAP Recipients

 With the passing of the Farm Bill and Hot Foods Act, SNAP recipients can buy hot and prepared foods. 

December 11, 2023

More than 100 lawmakers are in favor of the Hot Foods Act and want to push it further in the 2023 Farm Bill. It is the legislation allowing SNAP recipients to buy hot and prepared foods using their benefits. 

U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger is urging the U.S. House and U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee leadership that it allows Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to purchase hot food products via this program from grocery retailers.

Spanberger said, “Hundreds of thousands of Virginia households rely on SNAP to feed their families. But right now, an outdated provision prevents SNAP recipients from using their benefits to purchase hot foods — meaning working parents can’t purchase a hot sandwich or rotisserie chicken from the grocery store”. 

At present, SNAP rules do not allow the recipients to use SNAP benefits to purchase hot and prepared foods. The only exception is the disaster SNAP which provides replacement benefits to SNAP recipients who lost food in a disaster. 

The Food Research and Action Center says that these rules create unnecessary barriers to food security and better health and well-being for SNAP households especially for seniors with disability and the ones experiencing homelessness.

The Hot Foods Act aims to lift the ban on hot prepared foods for SNAP recipients, addressing the issue of “time poverty” faced by low-income households, including those with parents working multiple jobs. The SNAP recipients can use their benefits to purchase hot and ready to eat food if the bill gets passed.

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The content provided in this article draws inspiration and includes quotes from various reputable sources, including news articles, government data, and interviews. Affordable Housing 411 strives to ensure accuracy and credibility, but the information presented may be based on some external sources. We encourage readers to refer to the referenced materials for more in-depth insights and verification.


Nesbit Josephine. “SNAP Benefits: What the Passage of the Hot Foods Act Could Mean for Families”. Finance.Yahoo, December 5, 2023, 

SNAP Benefits: What the Passage of the Hot Foods Act Could Mean for Families (


Last Updated: September 20, 2021