February fire sparks collaboration for dining hall inside of Geneva Tower

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 3:55 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -A February fire that temporarily displaced more than 100 residents from Geneva Tower has led to positive change inside the building in downtown Cedar Rapids. A dining room has opened that will serve the public low cost meals, and it comes amid the high costs of inflation.

”I just think we’ve learned a lot since February and we’ve learned how important it is for us to work together and collaborate,” said Debbie Craig, Chief Advocacy Officer at Four Oaks & Affordable Housing Network, Inc.

Several groups helped the residents of Geneva Tower in the aftermath of the fire and those collaborations have now created a new resource for the community at large.

”It was just the perfect timing to talk about how else can Horizons and AHNI partner together,” explained Daniele Rodriguez, Director of the Affordable Housing Network.

The Affordable Housing Network & Four Oaks have partnered with Horizons to offer lunch three days a week out of the dining hall inside Geneva Tower, and it’s open to the public.

Tuesday through Thursday meals will be served from 11 until noon. They’re just $6 for people under 60, a suggested donation of $5 for people over 60, and they’re free to residents of the tower which is home to the elderly and disabled.

“This is our community working together,” said Craig.

Horizons is making the food and residents at Geneva Tower are helping serve it.

”For us to be able to turn key this so fast was really vital to the fact that the tenants stepped up and said hey I want to learn,” said Melissa Wahl, Director of Community Health & Nutrition at Horizons.

They’re hoping to eventually expand the lunches to Monday through Friday.

“Just recently I was talking to someone on how beautiful our downtown area is after the flood. Well, post fire, I think supportive services have gotten stronger,” Craig added.

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