After tracking attendance patterns at several local low-income elementary schools, workers at Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank discovered that many students who arrived late had not eaten at home and missed cafeteria breakfast at school. To prevent the consequences of inadequate food intake, such as learning and development issues, the organization established a breakfast-bags program that provides students who miss their school’s cafeteria breakfast with healthy, protein-laden food. Each breakfast bag contains at least four stomach-filling items, such as a cereal box, fruit cup, applesauce, and peanut butter and crackers.
As a devoted seamstress for more than a quarter-century, it goes without saying that Tameka Reed was jarred to discover the local schools had removed sewing from their home-economics curricula. Finding opportunity in her dismay, Reed opened Urban Stitches to introduce sewing to people of all ages and to create a community for avid sewers. Classes help guests of all ages hone their skills, and studio time allows visitors to rent out the shop's sewing machines for their own projects.
The culinary craftsmen at Dukes Station II tame appetites with a menu of classic American fare. Populate mouth-caves with a crispy basket of shrimp ($4.95) or a helping of jalapeño poppers ($4.95) for a hotter beginning than a phoenix’s 21st rebirthday. A lineup of more than 30 phalange-fillers includes the cheeseburger ($5.95); a half-rack of ribs ($12.95) meets the Constitution-mandated requirement to pronounce something as “finger-licking good” in order to be able to vote. Landlubbing entrees such as spaghetti and meatballs ($7.25) alternate with seafaring treats such as luscious crab cakes ($9.95), and individually sized pizzas come festooned in traditional cheese toppings ($3.95) or with a zesty taco flair ($4.50). Miniature masticators can indulge in kids’ menu items or steal peppermints from a neighbor’s pocket.
The Jewish Community Center of Pittsburgh pursues its mission of upholding an exemplary, thriving, and engaged community rooted in Jewish values. The Center contains state-of-the-art fitness facilities, complete with group exercise programs, personal training, and modern facilities that include gyms, basketball courts, and swimming pools. Leaders also organize other programs that range from day and overnight camps for kids to art classes, dance programs, aquatics seminars, and physical education for all ages.
The YMCA Adventure Warrior Race gives kids and adults a chance to prove themselves against ropes courses, mud, water obstacles, and other unexpected mental and physical challenges—all while supporting a good cause. Amid the breathtaking views and tranquil waters of Lake Tris, runners maneuver around trees and carry heavy objects up the sometimes snow-covered Laurel Highlands mountains, climbing up to 1,000 feet as they go. Warriors aged 16 and older make a 4-mile circuit, whereas younger participants run age-appropriate distances of a half mile or a full mile. Trophies and the respect of all the woodland creatures are awarded to the top male and female runners, top male and female teams, and top co-ed team. According to the Daily American, funds raised from the race provide camp scholarships that allow kids to attend residential and day programs at the 263-acre YMCA Camp T. Frank Soles.
Despite its name, Fonzi’s Synergy Fitness isn’t a place where members learn to ride motorcycles while keeping their slicked-back coiffures in place. It’s a locally owned gym helmed by Jim Fonzi and Denice Normandy-Fonzi, who cultivate a welcoming feel inside the fitness haven. High-quality workout equipment, such as the BodyMasters System—a 30-minute circuit workout similar to Curves, as well as free weights fill the space, and a fitness room hosts an array of heart-pumping, calorie-burning classes.