The Museum of Idaho is on a mission to provide education and entertainment to everyone in east Idaho, regardless of their income. As part of this ongoing endeavour, they have implemented a new program whereby discounted admission is offered to anyone who is part of the the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program.
Jeff Car, museum spokesperson told East Idaho News that this new discount fits with their mission “to bring Idaho to the world and the world to Idaho.”
Visitors who present their SNAP card will be admitted for $1 per person, and Carr said that museum staff will treat all visitors with respect. Staff have been sensitized to the idea that people may be embarrassed about being on a government assistance programme and it will be handled with discretion. The new discount is effective immediately.
“We have always sought to make the museum as accessible as possible for as many groups of people as possible,” Carr said.
Carr further said that the discount was an easy way to extend more opportunities to low-income families.
“When you’re low-income, you don’t just need food,” he said. “If you’re in that situation in life, you’re also shut out of a lot of opportunities for recreation, education, entertainment, that sort of thing. We think it’s just as important, especially for kids, to have access to things that inspire them, so we’re happy to do it.”
The discount was spearheaded by Karen Baker, the museum’s executive director, who according to Carr,“ has always been very eager to advance that accessibility mission since she started as executive director here.”
The programme has been very popular with the public and since the being announced last week, several people have taken advantage of it. Carr is delighted by the quick uptake and said: “Word is getting out very quickly, even quicker than I would’ve expected, which says to me that there’s a real need in this community for these types of benefits to be offered.”
The discount program is one of several ways in which the museum aims to help low-income families. Other programs include grant-funded scholarships that reduce the cost of programs to low-income visitors such as scholarships being offered to the “Night at the Museum” STEM Sleepover event. Through the scholarships costs of attending this event will be reduced from $40 to $5.
Although the discount program is a new one, is still falls in line with other programs that the museum has been running for a long time.
Carr said. “We do our best to reach out and make these kinds of things available. We’re a nonprofit, and we believe this is a big part of our mission.”