506 Cafe in Waverly opens for lunch once a month for a cause

AMIE STEFFENEICHER amie.steffeneicher@wcfcourier.com Apr 3, 2017

Cyndi Campbell, a board member of both the Waverly Senior Center and Rally Point Cedar Valley Veterans, stands in front of the Waverly Senior Center, which becomes the 506 Cafe for lunch on the first Tuesday of the month starting this week.

WAVERLY — Jennifer Jones Ruiz wants the 506 Cafe to be “just another lunch option in Waverly.” But if it works, it will mean helping homeless veterans in the city.

And they’ll only have one lunch per month to see if it does.

The 506 Cafe will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, and the first Tuesday of each month thereafter, at the Waverly Senior Center at 506 E. Bremer Ave.

Meals are $10 per person, and the money will be divided between the Waverly Senior Center and Rally Point Cedar Valley Veterans.

Cyndi Campbell, a board member of both, said Rally Point plans to use its portion to find another place for their veterans to go. Their current house is LZ Phoenix, which is military parlance for “landing zone,” or a safe place. But that safe place will only be theirs through February 2018.

In order to get and keep funds flowing their way for a new house, Campbell started looking to other organizations that held monthly meals, like the AMVETS’ monthly fish fry.

“We were thinking a monthly meal would be a way we could keep our name out there and have a position in the community,” Campbell said.

She knew the Waverly Senior Center had the space and the commercial kitchen, as well as the parking. So on behalf of Rally Point, Campbell approached her Senior Center board with the idea.

“The Waverly Senior Center was all for it,” said Ruiz, recently hired as the senior center’s marketing director.

The meals are open to the public and walk-ins are welcome, though reservations help the volunteers plan, Ruiz said.

The Senior Center will use their portion of proceeds for their general funds for things like activities and outings for seniors in Waverly. Ruiz said community awareness of the facility was also a bonus.

“I just think it’s sort of a unique set up,” she said. “We’re teaming up to hopefully be better together.”