Favarh Executive Director Stephen Morris noted that Bear Woods Apartments is “something completely unique that no one else does.” Morris is talking about the public/private partnership between Regan Development and Favarh that forged Bear Woods Apartments, an integrated community for people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Morris goes on. “We hope we’ve created something that inspires other public/private partnerships around the state and country, and that they improve upon it. We’re starting to see that happen.”
One important component that sets Bear Woods Apartments apart from other residential solutions in the IDD community is the Favarh Healthy Meals Program for Bear Woods residents with IDD. Morris noted that, as is common for many people moving into an independent setting, eating habits tend to decline, especially for people with IDD upon whose families they depended for meals.
“We built a commercial kitchen with help from a local restaurateur to make healthy meals,” he said. “We have an online platform with reasonable prices. Some of the participants in Favarh’s employment program deliver meals.” Healthy portioned meals can be ordered and delivered weekly to supplement regular meals made by the apartment residents.
The challenge, according to Morris, is to “create healthy food that tastes great.” That’s where long-time Favarh supporter and chef/owner of Simsbury’s Maple Tree Café Ryan Krieger comes in. “He helps create the menu, cooks and packages meals in our kitchen,” Morris said, hoping that they can expand the Healthy Meals Program to the wider community. Here is a sample of some of the menu items Bear Woods program participants can enjoy:
Right now, the program is only available to Favarh residents, including two other Connecticut apartment complexes developed by Regan Development: Ojakian Commons in Simsbury and Lavender Field in Bloomfield.
For more information about Favarh’s services for people with IDD, visit favarh.org