Starting Sept. 12, the city of Albuquerque is offering SNAP recipients discounted admission to the ABQ BioPark, Albuquerque Museum and the International Balloon Museum.
This pilot program, which runs for the next three months, makes these three venues more accessible to New Mexicans experiencing financial barriers and is a step in making Albuquerque a more equitable and inclusive place to live and raise a family.
Mayor Tim Keller said, “We recognize that admission fees to the BioPark, Albuquerque Museum and Balloon Museum create a barrier for some families. We want all visitors to feel welcome in our public spaces and engage in our cultural spaces regardless of their background.”
Those with a valid EBT card and matching ID can get up to six tickets at each location. The museums are free in the program, and the BioPark $3 for adults and $1 for children up to age 12 as well as seniors over age 65.
The Department of Arts & Culture will evaluate the ticketing process for three months before sending its recommendations for permanent consideration to the Albuquerque City Council.
City Councilor Klarissa Peña has been a vocal advocate for equity and inclusion at the BioPark and requested options for implementing reduced admission fees.
“We’ve had several initiatives in recent years to increase accessibility at our BioPark and museums, especially for students in Title I schools,” said Peña. “More than 500,000 New Mexicans receiving SNAP benefits will now be able to enjoy our beloved venues with less financial burden than ever before.”
According to the state’s Human Services Department, SNAP serves more than 539,758 individuals in New Mexico each month, providing food assistance benefits to safeguard the well-being of low-income, financially eligible households.
Keller and Peña promoted the program in the video below.