How a third-grader sowed a food movement

Katie Stagliano.jpg.webp.838x0_q80

Though proud of her new ventures and accolades, Katie’s focus has remained the same: to end hunger garden by garden.

“My vision is to have 500 gardens in all 50 states, and then I’d love to start Katie’s Krops internationally,” she says. “I know when you put all our growers together — no matter how large or small their efforts — we’re making a huge impact.”

Read the source article and full interview @ mother nature network (

Growing Communities to Stop Hunger in Charleston, SC

Over the past 20 years, the Sodexo Stop Hunger Movement has been a leading force in the fight against hunger and has empowered leaders to grow communities across America like this one in Charleston, SC. 


This story starts with a single cabbage.  But it wasn’t just any cabbage, however. It was a 40-pound cabbage, grown by a 9 year old girl named Katie Stagliano.

Katie Stagliano and cabbage
This young gardener donated that huge cabbage to her local soup kitchen, and it fed more than 275 people. Inspired by that experience, she started Katie’s Krops. The non-profit now has 100 gardens around the country, all grown by kids who are donating these healthy foods to feed the hungry in their communities.

Today, Katie is 17 years, but she’s still the youngest recipient of the University of California’s 30 Under 30 leaders in the food industry.  (She was also the youngest recipient of the Clinton Global Citizen Award.) I had the pleasure of meeting Katie in my garden blogging work, and she was kind enough to allow me to interview her today for UC Food Observer.

Q) Congratulations on being named among University of California’s 30 Under 30. How does it feel to be called one of 30 young leaders making a difference in our food system?

Katie Stagliano: At 17 years old, it is an incredible honor to be named among the University of California’s 30 Under 30. If you would have asked me at nine years old, before I donated my cabbage to Tri County Family Ministries, what I imagined would grow from the donation of one cabbage, I could have never foreseen how much it would change my life.

Katie Stagliano of Katie's Krops 17 years old
I’m so blessed to be on this journey. I hope that by being named among 30 Under 30 it will show others that age is just a number, never an obstacle. You can do anything that you set your heart to.

Q) In 2015 there were 83 Katie’s Krops gardens growing across the United States.  What are the current numbers for 2016? Did you ever expect the program would grow so quickly? Why do you think this program has grown to include so many gardens?

Katie Stagliano: I’m very proud to say in 2016 that Katie’s Krops has 100 youth run gardens growing in 32 states across the United States. I could have never imagined how big Katie’s Krops would become, and how many people we have been able to provide fresh produce to at no charge.

I wholeheartedly believe that if it were not for the incredible and supportive people I’ve met along the way, who have believed in me and my dream, Katie’s Krops would not be at the level it is today.

I have found amazing kids across the United States who are passionate about ending hunger in their communities. We’ve come together and created a family of Katie’s Krops Growers. Working together I believe we can grow a healthy end to hunger, one vegetable garden at a time.

Read the source article and full interview @ UC Food Observer

Congratulations Katie! Global Food Initiative 30 Under 30

It is with great pride that we announce our Founder, Katie has been named to the The University of California inaugural Global Food Initiative 30 Under 30 Awards. The awards recognize 30 young pioneers and innovators trailblazing to solve the global food crisis by making extraordinary contributions in a wide array of food-related fields.The awards recognize individuals both inside and outside the UC system who have made outstanding contributions to a wide array of food-related fields, including food production, food access and security, food sourcing, food education and communication, and food policy and public impact. The awards are organized and bestowed by University of California President Janet Napolitano and the UC Global Food Initiative. We are proud to say, Katie is the youngest of the 30 recipients. Congratulations Katie!

Join Us in June for Miracle Mondays at the Rusty Rudder

We are thrilled to announce the Rusty Rudder in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina has designated Katie’s Krops as their June Miracle Monday partner! Every Monday in June, the Rusty Rudder will donate 10% of their proceeds to Katie’s Krops.
We would love your support to make this a super successful fundraiser for Katie’s Krops. Please help us spread the word, encourage your friends and family to visit the Rusty Rudder in Mt. Pleasant for dinner every Monday in June!
The restaurant in located at 3563 N. Highway 17 in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. Please let them know you are there to support Katie’s Krops.
To visit their website follow this link-
Thank you for your support, and for helping us grow a healthy end to hunger. Make your plans now to meet friends at the Rusty Rudder on a Monday in June.

The Next Generation Growing Hope for an End to Hunger

The Next Generation Growing Hope for an End to Hunger

What does food insecurity look like to you? Does it look like your neighbor? The person sitting next to you in church? Your child’s classmates? Food insecurity looks like all of us. Far too many families are one paycheck or one illness away from hunger. A choice between food, rent and utilities is a choice that many families are forced to make regularly, and appearances can be deceiving. At a very young age, I learned food insecurity does not always fit a stereotype, and I have made it my life’s mission ensure no family has to struggle to put food on their table.

Call it a happy accident, or perhaps fate stepping in to guide me down a path, but at just nine years old I learned that I could help to end hunger, but when I was in the third grade, I grew a forty pound cabbage in my backyard. I knew that my massive cabbage was meant for more than just my family, and I made the decision to donate to a soup kitchen after recalling the words that my father often shared; “We are very blessed to have a healthy meal every night. There are many families that struggle with hunger.”

I called on my mom to find a home for my cabbage and she found, Tri County Family Ministries. My story could have ended there, a nine year old doing a good deed by delivering a mammoth cabbage to a soup kitchen. But fate stepped in again when the director of the soup kitchen, Mrs. Sue, said the words that would transform my perspective: “It is not enough to just donate your cabbage, you need to come back, serve it and meet the people who you have helped.” My parents agreed and I returned to Tri County two days later.

I pulled on plastic gloves, grabbed a large ladle, sat on a wooden stool and served my cabbage, paired with ham and rice, to every guest. That day, my cabbage helped to feed 275 guests of the soup kitchen.

On that day I learned what the faces of hunger look like. I also realized that I had found a way to help end hunger. I could grow an end to hunger, one vegetable garden at a time.

It has been eight years since that transformative day. What started with a cabbage has grown into my not-for-profit organization, Katie’s Krops. Today, 100 youth-based gardens are growing across the United States, where the whole harvest is donated to feed families in need.

The mission of Katie’s Krops is to empower youth to start and maintain vegetable gardens of all sizes and donate the harvest to help feed people in need, wherever the need exists, and to assist and inspire others to do the same.

Youth across the country are now growing a healthy and fresh end to hunger. Fresh produce is filling food banks, soup kitchens and school food pantries in order to provide nutrient-rich produce to those struggling with food insecurity. While emergency food programs benefit from the fresh produce, the youth who grow the gardens benefit in many ways as well. Young Katie’s Krops growers gain an understanding of agriculture, nutrition, responsibility and budgeting. One of the most important skills they learn is that they too, at a very young age, can positively impact families struggling with hunger in their communities.

I receive notes from time to time…

Dear Katie,

Earlier this year, I had been laid off from work with a mountain of medical debt, and no food. Thankfully, I received help from you. Words cannot express how deeply grateful I am for your assistance to see me through. May God continue to bless you for all that you do. I will always be grateful.



One hundred gardens is just the start. With help from volunteers and donors, we continue to grow, further our impact on food insecurity and allow children to be part of the solution to a global problem. Food preservation specialist Sub-Zero is supporting our efforts in a big way and you can, by sharing the hashtag #FreshFoodMatters on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Each time you do, Sub-Zero will donate $5, up to $25,000. That’s 25 new Katie’s Krops youth run gardens in 25 new communities that will benefit from greater access to fresh food.

Gardens are a wonderful solution to food insecurity because fresh food matters. The day I donated my cabbage, I learned how much a simple meal could change the course of someone’s day. I also learned that I, had the ability to make an impact. I wanted to, I needed to help. I hope you will help, too, by learning more about the impact of fresh food at and by sharing why this issue is important to you, using #FreshFoodMatters.


Volunteer with Katie’s Krops & Help Us Grow

Katie’s Krops gardens grow with a lot love and support from our amazing volunteers.  We are based in Summerville, South Carolina and we are always in need of volunteers to support our efforts. If you live in the Summerville area how can you help?

Help in the Garden-

On Saturday, March 19th we will host our first garden work day of 2016, in our flagship garden in Summerville. We will prepare our garden for spring planting by: amending rows, cleaning up garden debris, weeding, paint our garden shed, painting and weatherproofing our outdoor furniture and so much more. To sign up to volunteer for this garden work day please e-mail Volunteers of all ages are welcome to join us. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. All volunteers must sign up in advance.

Volunteer in our Flagship Garden this Summer:

Summer is our busiest season in the garden. We are always in need of volunteers to help maintaining our garden and help harvest our crops. We organize weekly garden work days over the summer. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all time. To be placed on our volunteer email list please contact with the subject line, “Please Add Me to The Volunteer List”.

Chair Dive in to End Hunger-

In 2016 we will host the Third Annual Dive in to End Hunger Event in Summerville, South Carolina. This fun event brings our young volunteers and supporters together to raise funds to help us grow. We are looking for an individual who is outgoing, organized who also has ties to the local swim community to chair this event. Dive in to End Hunger will be held in the summer. If you are interested in chairing, or co-chair this fun filled event, please email

Host a Food Drive to Support our Katie’s Krops Dinners-

Once, sometime twice a month we host free garden to table dinners for anyone in need of a healthy meal. In order to offset the cost of the dinners we are always in need of:

Lemonade Mix

Olive Oli

Canola Oil

White Rice

Rotini Pasta

Chicken Broth

Gift Cards to Local Grocery Stores

Large Foil Pans

Salad Dressing- Italian

Red Wine Vinegar


Canned Kidney Beans

Thank you for helping you grow a health end to hunger! If you have any questions please email


Join us for the First Katie’s Krops Dinner of 2016

Join us on Thursday, January 28th for the first Katie’s Krops Dinner of the new year. The dinner will be held at Summerville Baptist Church located at 417 Central Avenue in Summerville, South Carolina. Doors will open at 5:30 and dinner will be served at 6:00pm. The dinner is always free and everyone is welcome at the Katie’s Krops dinner table. Reservations are not required or accepted. Spread the word and help us end hunger in the Lowcountry. The dinner is limited to 200 guests.