In Washington State, the Department of Services for the Blind (DSB) oversees the Business Enterprise Program (BEP). The BEP is a program that resulted from the Randolph Sheppard Act—a federal law that gives legally blind vendors the opportunity to operate vending facilities on specified public property.
Legally blind individuals affiliated with the BEP operate many of the cafeterias, delis, espresso stands, and snack bars located in state agencies. To find out if your food service venue is operated by a BEP operator, visit the DSB's webpage on BEP vendor locations.
What Do State Agencies Need to Know About DSB and BEP?
- DSB holds the contracts with the blind vendors. State agencies do not have authority to amend these contracts.
- DSB and BEP's Blind Vendor Committee adopted policies stating that they will implement the Healthy Nutrition Guidelines.
How Can Agencies Work with BEP Operators?
State agencies and wellness committees can assist the blind operators in implementing the Guidelines by:
- Identifying one individual who will serve as the point-of-contact between the state agency/wellness committee and the blind operator.
- Communicating often about reasonable healthy options that building employees would like to see in the food service venue.
- Promoting healthy choices through marketing materials, presentations, emails, or newsletter articles.