With families across Tampa Bay finding themselves struggling with food insecurity, homeschoolers with the Faith Over Fear Citrus fundraiser are stepping up to help in a big way. For them, it starts at a printing shop, where they’re making shirts to sell.

All the proceeds will pay for food to fill the shelves at a local food bank that serves hundreds of families.

“This is very satisfying to know everyone in our community that doesn’t have anything to eat will be able to get fed, and that’s satisfying to know that I’m doing what Jesus wants me to do. And that pleases me,” Homeschooler Emma Milby said.

She’s only in 9th grade, but Emma already knows her calling. She would help the world if she could, but for now, she’s helping make t-shirts to raise money for families in her county. 

Other students are spending time on the sorting line.

“It was an absolute blessing to have homeschoolers to be able to come in to sort the food so we can be able to put it back out,” Community Food Bank Executive Director Barbara Sprague said.

She also said, normally, the food bank distributes about two million pounds of food a year, but due to the pandemic, they’ll see almost four million pounds this year

“We have seen spikes of 300 to 400 percent at most of our pantry distribution clients that are in need. At least one in three are coming to a food distribution and a pantry for the first time.”

For Emma, it’s just about doing what’s right.

“We should not have people who are starving. We should not have people that are suffering. By helping the food bank, helping a fundraiser for the food bank, it helps so many people and so many lives,” she said.

Throughout this process, homeschoolers learn the process of making each t-shirt and see how monetary donations can impact the entire community.

You can learn more about Faith Over Fear here.