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VRMP Restaurants FAQ
 Q. What is the SNAP Program?
 A. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, is a federal program that provides nutritional assistance to low-income households. SNAP supplements the food budgets of families and individuals so they may purchase more and higher-quality foods using the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. The EBT card can be used to pay for food at supermarkets and convenience stores, as well as some farmer’s markets and food co-ops.

 Q. What is the Virginia Restaurant Meals Program?
 A. The Virginia Restaurant Meals Program (VRMP) is a new program that allows SNAP recipients who are aged 60 or over, permanently disabled or experiencing homelessness to use their benefits to purchase prepared meals with their EBT card at participating restaurants.

 Q. Are there any fees that a restaurant owner must pay to participate in the Virginia Restaurant Meals Program?
 A. There are no fees for a restaurant owner to participate in the program. However, if the restauranter chooses to participate, they will need to register with Virginia’s EBT vendor, Conduent, and be charged for the use of the point-of-sale (POS) device.

Note: If the restaurant owner chooses to integrate EBT into their current commercial POS equipment, they will need to contact the vendor about additional fees.

 Q. I have more than one restaurant. Can I apply for all my restaurants to participate in the Virginia Restaurant Meals Program?
 A. Yes, you can apply for all your restaurants to participate in the program.

 Q. How does a restaurant owner participate in the VRMP?
 A. Fill out the application materials digitally and email the forms to or print, complete and mail in the forms to the physical address.
Once VDSS approves the application, the restaurant owner must submit the application to the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (USDA-FNS) to become an authorized VRMP restaurant vendor. The owner must complete the USDA SNAP application FNS 252-2 ( to include all required supporting documentation as noted in the FNS 252-2.

Note: The restaurant owner may not apply to USDA-FNS until they have been approved by VDSS and received a signed returned restaurant agreement.
The owner then can submit their VRMP application to USDA-FNS via United States Postal Service (USPS)standard mail, to this address:

Retailer Service Center
USDA Food and Nutrition Services
PO Box 7228
Falls Church, VA 22040

For questions about the SNAP authorization process, contact the FNS Retailer Service Center at:

 Q. How long does it take to become an authorized restaurant?
 A. The entire process to become authorized takes between 30 to 60 days.

 Q. What happens if a participating restaurant changes ownership or closes for business?
 A. The restaurant owner must notify the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) and the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) when a restaurant changes ownership or closes. This ensures that the authorization is cancelled immediately since the previous owner’s authorization is NOT TRANSFERABLE. If the new owner wants to participate in the VRMP, they must apply for authorization with the FNS for approval and enter a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with VDSS.

 Q. How do I know if a customer who provides an EBT card is eligible for the Virginia Restaurant Meals Program?
 A. The state-issued EBT POS device or your updated EBT-integrated POS device has an automated eligibility identifier that enables restaurants to easily identify if an EBT card can be processed for the Virginia Restaurant Meals Program. EBT cards work the same as debit and credit cards.

 Q. How do I handle a customer whose SNAP EBT card was denied when processed on the POS device?
 A. You may inform the customer to contact the Conduent Customer Service Center at 866-281-2448 or contact their local department of social services.

 Q. Can a participating restaurant allow a mixed transaction (EBT and cash or credit card combined)?
 A. Yes, the restaurant can process a mixed transaction when the EBT cardholder does not have enough money on their EBT card to fully pay for their meal. An alternate payment method can be used along with the EBT card.

 Q. How will eligible SNAP recipients know that my restaurant is participating in the Virginia Restaurant Meals Program?
 A. VDSS will provide you with VRMP signage for placement on your business door or window. Eligible SNAP recipients will be told to look for the logo to identify restaurants participating in the VRMP. Additionally, your restaurant’s name and address will be placed on a list of participating restaurants. Community organizations, community partners and advocates may also have lists available.

 Q. How long does it take to be reimbursed for the EBT card meal purchases?
 A. Reimbursement usually takes about 24 hours from time of purchase.

 Q. Where can I get instructions on how to complete the FNS 252_2 form?
 A. Instructions can be found here: FNS 252-2 (
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