Stewart Center Wellness
The Center’s Wellness initiative supports personal, family, and community wellbeing. Small group programs provide resources and opportunities for individuals to cultivate a healthy mind, body, and spirit. These small group programs work in concert with neighborhood-wide initiatives supporting food security, financial stability, and community wellness.
What started as a food co-op years ago has evolved into a wellness program addressing many aspects of healthy living. Members have access to groceries and fresh produce. They also have access to education and enrichment opportunities to support their overall well-being including cooking demos and group therapy sessions.
Co-op members also gather for fellowship opportunities such as a cook-offs, neighborhood walks, journaling classes, and trips to a local farm. Even during the pandemic members have continued to meet, now virtually, to participate in mindfulness sessions and attend yoga classes.
The greatest outcome of the wellness cooperative is the lasting friendships that have been formed around shared experiences. Many Co-op members have formed deep connections with their neighbors which has expanded the groups’ benefits well beyond the formalized meetings and activities.
The Center’s resident enrichment initiative gives neighbors tools and resources they need to sustain their livelihood and advance toward their goals.
During COVID-19 the Stewart Center is providing food assistance to approximately 80 neighborhood families each week. Additionally, in response to the needs created by the pandemic the Center is providing thousands of dollars in rent and utility assistance to local residents.
Many of our neighbors are trying to survey during the current health and economic crisis. Despite the present challenges, the Center is still providing financial literacy training and homeownership preparation to residents pursuing their financial goals.
I’ve been actively involved for nearly two years. As a mother of two, I’ve learned self healing and I’m now able to motivate others to get involved with family activities and community development. I greatly value the friendships I’ve developed with members of the co-op and the Stewart Center leadership.
Tara Kelley – Pittsburgh Resident, Stewart Center Board Member
Yoga & MindfulnessCo-op members regularly participate in wellness activities such as yoga and group walks. Group exercise not only strengthens bodies, it also builds community.
Food DistributionEvery week since March the Center has distributed ~3,000 pounds of food to neighbors experiencing food insecurity. Although some of those seeking assistance had nutrition needs before the pandemic, many acknowledge that their need has increased due to current economic hardships.
Building CommunityThe Center regularly facilitates community gatherings to bring neighbors together and provide enrichment opportunities. Each year the Center hosts community Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners along with festivals and events throughout the year. The cancelation of in-person gatherings has been one of the biggest losses from COVID.