Food Work at Micah 6 Community
The story of food in our community has its roots in urbanization, racist transit policy, the growing distance between our daily lives and the land that grows our food, and the rise of processed ingredients.
- Heart disease is the leading killer of black men in this country.
- Life expectancy in our census tract is ten years younger than the state
average, largely due to food related issues.
- The nearest grocery store to Micah 6 Community is 1.5 miles away,
in Waterford, which has opted out of public transportation, making
the store accessible only by car or on foot.
- 28% of our neighbors do not have cars.
In 2013, Micah 6 Community purchased its first vacant lot with the goal of turning it into a community garden. Since then, we have expanded to 1.25 acres in the neighborhood with three greenhouses.
All in all, we grow a couple thousand pounds of food annually that goes back to our community either free of charge to folks who come and pick it, or for a small fee through Sprout Fresh Food Store.
Sprout Fresh Food Store
The idea for Sprout Fresh Food Store came to us early, when we began talking to neighbors about the things they'd like to see changed about our community, it was almost unanimous–"We want a place to buy vegetables."
You see, within walking distance of our neighborhood are three gas stations, two coney islands, and a number of bars and liquor stores. There are no grocery stores. We began to imagine what it would look like to open a small vegetable store.
In 2013 we bought a building. We imagined that it would be a breeze to just open up weeks after we bought it. Other people had different plans. It was here that we learned about building permits, new plumbing, new furnaces, a new roof and more. In the end, after three years and almost $100,000 of renovations, we were able to open Sprout Fresh Food Store in January of 2017.
As the building was being renovated, we didn't want to wait to start making better lives for our neighbors. We thought there must be something that we could be doing while we were without a building, and the idea of pop-up markets was born with the simple idea of just taking the produce to where people were already meeting.
With the help of the Oakland County Health Division, Healthy Pontiac We Can, and our friends at several local agencies, we began doing once a week farm stands in places where people were already gathering: the Pontiac Public Library, OLHSA, Bowen Senior Center, and Community Housing Network.
We love setting up for one-time events as well. If you have a community event coming up and would love fresh, affordable, healthy food options there, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org