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      Eastridge Baptist Church makes sure no child goes hungry

      There are at least 23 different languages spoken in the Eastridge community of Amarillo, as it is a large refugee area. Right in the center of this multi-cultural community stands Eastridge Baptist Church, which is unique in its own way.

      Eastridge Baptist Church is unique because they cater to the different cultures by providing a service in English and Karen, a dialect from Burma, but that's not the only way this church lends a helping hand.

      "We just try to identify the different needs we have in the community and one of them is hunger. Over 90% of the children that go to school are on a free lunch program," said Pastor Mike Garman "One thing we do throughout the year is at 4:30 p.m. every day is to offer a meal for the kids so that they can have at least that one meal a day."

      Anywhere from 15 to over 100 kids show up Monday through Friday, 4:30 till 5:00 p.m. for a free nutritious dinner at the churches Mission Center.

      The church does not try to push religion on any of the children, but through loving actions they give the children a safe place to play, keep them from being hungry, and provide multi-cultural interaction.

      Volunteer, Sharon Grisson said, "Just like today when I walked in, the volleyball net was up and the kids were playing three different games at one time, but they learned they can do that and there's not anything to fear when they do it."

      The children say they are grateful for the Mission Center and Kid CafÃ.

      "Thank you for the food," said the dancing and energetic Ali Hussien.

      Braedon Keeling said, "Thanks for letting us come and play basketball and putting up the net."

      "There's not anything in the world I would rather be doing. You get a chance to make a real difference in children's lives," said Garman "and to help them to be able to focus in school and not have to go home from school having had their last meal for the day, so it's a really great feeling to know that you can help."

      The church is working on offering service opportunities that will allow more volunteers to help and fund the kid cafÃ. To learn more about Eastridge Baptist Church and their programs visit {<}{>}.