Santa Cruz County’s Restaurant Meals Program enables eligible CalFresh recipients to purchase a nutritious prepared meal at participating restaurants with their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, in addition to purchasing groceries at markets and other locations that accept EBT. Currently, the Restaurant Meals Program and the ability to purchase hot or prepared meals at participating restaurants is only available to CalFresh recipients who are experiencing homelessness, are seniors age 60 or over, or those who have a disability. In 2020 I drafted a proposal (link proposal here) to amend the Farm Bill that regulates SNAP benefits to add full time students to the list of people who should be eligible to participate in the SNAP/CalFresh Restaurant Meals Program. This would allow those students already struggling financially and eligible for CalFresh benefits to use their existing benefits to eat prepared meals on campus at participating college cafeterias and food vendors, rather than having to leave campus to purchase groceries and prepare food when they’d be better served staying on campus near classes and study halls. In 2021 Cabrillo College met with and explained my proposal to Congressmember Jimmy Panetta, who is now looking for a legislative vehicle to bring my proposal up as a federal amendment to add full time students to the list of people who should be eligible to participate in the SNAP/CalFresh Restaurant Meals Program.