Sprout Fresh Food Store, a Pontiac-based produce market, is hosting a “Now Accepting EBT/Bridge Cards” kick-off event on Saturday, July 22, from 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. The event features free produce taste testings, prizes, recipe ideas and more. Fresh, locally grown, fruits and vegetables will be available for purchase. Sprout is located at 580 W. Huron St. in Pontiac.

“We are so excited to be a small business building upon community efforts in Pontiac,” said Bethany Blackburn, founder of Sprout Fresh Food Store. “I’m especially excited to see how better access to healthy and nutritious food could change lives in my neighborhood.”

Sprout also hosts pop-up produce markets throughout the City of Pontiac, offering opportunities to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. The Sprout Fresh Food Store and pop-up markets accept EBT/Bridge cards, cash and/or credit cards for payment.

Both the store and the pop-up produce market initiatives are made possible by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grant awarded to Oakland University on behalf of Oakland County Health Division’s Healthy Pontiac, We Can! coalition. The grant aims to reduce chronic disease and make healthy living easier and more affordable in Pontiac.

“Sprout stands out as an example of the dynamic collaborations happening within the City of Pontiac to promote healthy eating and physical activity,” said Dr. Jennifer Lucarelli, Healthy Pontiac, We Can! coalition chairperson and health sciences professor at Oakland University. “The ability to accept EBT/Bridge Cards helps ensure that every person has access to high-quality fresh fruits and vegetables.”

Sprout Fresh Food Store, is owned and operated by Micah 6 Community, a local nonprofit, and is open four days per week: Tuesday 2 p.m.-6 p.m., Thursday 2 p.m.-6 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

For more information, visit the Sprout Fresh Food Stores Facebook page at Facebook.com/SproutFFS.