Tens of thousands of families that receive food-purchasing assistance from the City of Denver through SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, can now access the Denver Botanic Gardens for just a dollar per person.
The Denver Department of Human Services announced the deal today, August 7, as an expansion of its One Dollar Museum and Cultural Center Admission Program, which began in 2015 by offering SNAP families dollar admission to the Children’s Museum of Denver. The program has grown to include the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, History Colorado, the Denver Zoo and — as of this week — the Denver Botanic Gardens and Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms.
To participate, someone receiving assistance through SNAP must present an EBT card at the ticket window of one of the sites, which allow dollar admission for the cardholder and up to nine additional people.
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“This program allows parents to spend affordable, quality time with their children,” explains DHS Executive Director Don Mares. “A single parent recently told us the program allowed her to give her son a birthday party at one of the institutions that she would never have been able to afford otherwise. This program ensures that parents can feed their family and also feed their children’s minds, future and cultural understanding.”
The one-dollar admission program is also meant to encourage families to sign up for SNAP. While there are already 41,000 households receiving food assistance from Denver, 46 percent of the city’s residents who are eligible to receive SNAP fail to apply, according to city statistics. That’s an additional 35,000 households that qualify but don't receive assistance.
Of the 41,000 households that do receive assistance, 40 percent have children, 20 percent have seniors and about 23 percent have one or more working adult.
According to DHS, EBT cardholders from all 64 Colorado counties can take advantage of dollar admission, but the program doesn't cover special events, classes or other special programs.