Good Eats Hosts Pasta Night for ARC

Daniel Greenman, News Editor

On October 18, Union’s Good Eats club hosted Pasta Night at Beuth, with five adults with intellectual disabilities from the Schenectady Adult Resources Center (ARC). ARC attendees and the Good Eats E-board cooked spaghetti and meatballs and chicken cutlets, as well as garlic bread, and ate together afterwards.

Adults attending from ARC worked with Good Eats club to prepare ingredients and conversed throughout the evening. The event began at 6 p.m. with preparing the food/ Tearing up while dicing onions was particularly remarked upon, and attendees helped shape meatballs and season garlic bread. Adults from ARC were enthusiastic in describing their own cooking experiences; some were already well-acquainted with Italian cooking from home. One attendee also brought a container of Halloween-themed cookies from home, which were enjoyed by all. 

Over a well-made dinner, discussion covered people’s projects at school and work, as well as recent sports scores, neighborhoods of origin and anticipation of the holidays. When asked for recommendations for future events, attendees suggested cheese-stuffed hamburgers, lobster mac and cheese and pizza.

Good Eats, which began as a partnership between Schenectady ARC and Union College, is a respite program. Such programs are designed to provide engaging experiences for those with intellectual disabilities, and to temporarily relieve families who live at home with them. Good Eats specifically is designed “for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities to acquire food prep skills with help from Union College students.” Goals of the program include community integration, learning food preparation, working toward eventual independent living, developing healthy eating habits and considering college in the future. Union’s Good Eats’s club’s budget supplies cooking materials for its events, and the Good Eats program overall is funded by New York State’s Office for People With Developmental Disabilities. Previously this term, Good Eats club hosted a taco event, and is looking towards November for the next installment.

Schenectady ARC is a chapter of The ARC New York, Inc., “a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities and their families throughout New York State,” according to its website. Schenectady ARC operates programs countywide for people of all ages and disabilities, and serves over 1,000 families a year. Schenectady ARC’s Employment Services also “supports 125 people with disabilities” and employs those with disabilities through Pine Ridge Industries, its integrated business division. Schenectady ARC is additionally partnered with Union College for Discovery Academy, a day program in which adults receiving ARC services attend classes at Union, and take part in activities and meals with campus groups.