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Sprouts Farmers Market Will Raise Awareness During Annual Autism Speaks Puzzle Piece Campaign

In-store fundraising campaign returns Feb.27 to benefit local communities

PHOENIX (Feb. 26, 2013) - Sprouts Farmers Markets, one of the largest and fastest growing natural foods retailers in the country, will once again host a two-week Autism Speaks Puzzle Piece Campaign to raise funds and awareness for the autism community beginning February  27.  Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization dedicated to funding autism research, increasing public awareness and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.

Sprouts shoppers raised $308,000 in 2010, and increased their generosity by raising $400,000 in 2011.

“This year, funds raised directly from this Puzzle Piece Campaign will be awarded to local communities through an Autism Speaks Neighborhood Grant Program,” said Sprouts President and CEO Doug Sanders, who has a 4-year-old son with autism. “We look forward to the best campaign yet.”

The Autism Speaks Neighborhood Grant Program will provide funding to organizations that serve the autism community in the eight states where Sprouts is located: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah. In addition, Sprouts will host a two-week Buy One, Get One Free Sale (BOGO Sale) to coincide with the campaign.

“Autism Speaks is thrilled to have Sprouts on board again this year to support our mission and generate autism awareness across the region,” said Lisa Goring, vice president of family services for Autism Speaks. “Our new Neighborhood Grant Program will greatly impact communities with this opportunity for qualified local autism service providers to receive funds for more programs and resources for those affected by autism.” 

“In Arizona, SARRC and the families we serve have benefitted firsthand from Sprouts’ commitment to supporting local autism nonprofit organizations," says Jeri Kendle, president of the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC). "We are grateful to Sprouts for all they have made possible in our community and are thrilled that their in-store campaign will now provide the same meaningful funding opportunity to autism service providers in the neighborhoods where their stores are located beyond our state."

To find a Sprouts location near you, visit sprouts.com.   

About Autism
Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders – caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, as well as repetitive behaviors. An estimated one in 88 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum – a 78 percent increase in six years that is only partly explained by improved diagnosis.

About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed more than $195 million to research and developing innovative resources for families. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 100 cities across North America. On the global front, Autism Speaks has established partnerships and related activities in more than 40 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit AutismSpeaks.org.

About the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC)
The Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC), founded in 1997, is a nonprofit, community-based organization dedicated to autism research, education and resources for children and young adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and their families. SARRC undertakes self-directed and collaborative research projects, serves as a satellite site for national and international projects, and provides up-to-date information, training and assistance to families and professionals about ASDs. For more information about SARRC, call (602) 340-8717 or visit autismcenter.org.

About Sprouts Farmers Market
Arizona-based Sprouts Farmers Market is a neighborhood grocery store with mountains of fresh fruits and vegetables, barrels of wholesome grains, nuts and sweets, full-service deli, meat and seafood counters. Roam around and you’ll find fresh baked goods, eclectic beer and wine, gourmet cheese, sensibly-priced vitamins and supplements, and thousands of natural, organic and gluten-free groceries. Our easy meal solutions are inspired by the season’s freshest ingredients to help you make choices that are better for you, and your budget. Sprouts has more than 150 locations in AZ, CA, CO, NV, NM, UT, OK, and TX, with more on the way! For weekly ads, recipes and store locations visit sprouts.com.