School community looks to tackle hunger, poverty

Posted at 4:00 PM, Feb 10, 2016
An ambitious plan to revitalize an entire Hillsborough County neighborhood is now underway. The plan centers on one school: Mort Elementary.
Mort Elementary, alongside Children's Home Society of Florida, is holding an event Wednesday that is set to raise money to hopefully build a new food pantry, complete with laundry service, and a new on-campus medical clinic that would serve students and their families.
"My children mean the world to me," said Woodland Johnson, Mort Elementary principal. "They know I'd do anything for them."
Those at the Children's Home Society said they are trying to help the entire area through revitalizing the school. The goal is to give kids a better chance at graduation and to give families the resources they desperately need.
"We're not just focusing on the students here in the school,  we want to impact the community," said Eliza McCall-Horne, executive director of Children's Home Society.
Mort Elementary students going to Wednesday's event are going to talk to potential donors.
"I feel like I'm going to do good tonight!" said Giovani Reyes, a Mort student.
"It's going to help us make our school a better community school," said Leilanie Villegas, another Mort Elementary student.
Plans are already underway to build the new food pantry and doctor's office, but now, the school just needs to money.
"What I want to say to the sponsors is that thank you, very much," said Saleem Sekkat, a Mort Elementary student.
The event is 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.