foodPikes Peak United Way and Care and Share Food Bank are partnering to provide assistance to residents applying for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

Through the Pikes Peak United Way 2-1-1 program, those seeking help can now call and speak with a 2-1-1 specialist who will assist with the online application process, according to a news release. The program should provide access to many who are unable to apply in person, the release states.

“Care and Share Food Bank and Pikes Peak United Way hope to streamline and expedite the current application method and ensure all applicants receive eligibility notification and benefits as quickly as possible,” the release reads. Phone lines will be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“This is another way for 2-1-1 to assist those needing key resources in our region,” said Amy Dinofrio,  chief operating officer of PPUW.  “It may be difficult for some to apply in person — now they can make a 10-minute phone call.”

The Food Stamp Program, which was renamed the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program on Oct. 1, 2008, helps low-income people who qualify to purchase food with the use of electronic benefit cards.  The 2-1-1 food assistance program begins today,  Monday, March 23, at 8:30 a.m.