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Bishop restaurant owner serves up smiles one meal at a time

Mainstreet Cafe Owner, Erica Garcia and her staff line up sack lunches for children who are out of school for summer break.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — One local restaurant owner stepped up to the plate to make sure kids don't go without a warm meal. 

At the Main Street Cafe in Bishop, Texas  Erica Garcia and her staff prepare for a different type of lunch crowd. 

"Today we have 65, the day before yesterday, we had a total of 80," Garcia said. 

Each week, Garcia and her workers line up sack lunches for children who are out of school for summer break. Garcia calls herself the "lunch lady" and is answering the call to give back to her community. 

A gesture she easily took on after hearing that local schools would not be able to fill the need.

"So I was like I could do it!" Garcia said. 

Garcia opened her restaurant two months ago in honor of her late father who taught her the importance of lending a helping hand. 

"His big thing was cooking, he loved to cook," Garcia said. "We would get together, make big pots of food and go hand them out to the homeless in Corpus Christi."

Garcia said the meals are her way of giving back to others, not because she has to, but because she wants to.

"Because I've been there," Garcia said. "I've been without and I don't want anyone to go without if I'm able to help. We're fortunate now to be able to do this for the community."

Frequent customer Wayne Grant comes to Garcia's restaurant every morning for a cup of coffee and stays for the conversation. He is proud of her work to give back to those in need. 

"For the most part she is using her own funds to get all this taken care of, I think its phenomenal," Grant said.

Dalia Arredondo is one of the families that Garcia has impacted with her kind gesture. Arredondo said that the community as a whole is grateful for her service. 

"We so appreciate what she is doing for the children here in Bishop, nearly 100 that come back," Arredondo said. 

Garcia said that she takes extra care to make sure the children in her community are covered on the weekends, when it matters the most. 

"Inside the packs they have milk, cereal, fruit cups and then we have beef stew, all of this comes for the weekend," Garcia said. "So over the weekend they will have something to eat because we do this Monday through Friday."

She said the extra weekend food is provided by the Coastal Bend Food Bank.

Garcia said she wouldn't be able to do what she does without the community's support.

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