Celebrate the Season at the December Katie’s Krops Dinner

Join us at the Katie’s Krops Dinner on Thursday, December 10th as we celebrate the season. As always, the dinner is hot, healthy & free. Everyone is welcome at our dinner table. The dinner will be served at Summerville Baptist Church located at 417 Central Avenue in Summerville, South Carolina. Doors to the Fellowship Hall will open at 5:30pm, and the meal will be served at 6pm. This will be a wonderful dinner for children to attend. Please note the dinner is limited to 200 guests. We recommend arriving early as seats fill quickly. From all of us at Katie’s Krops, we wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season. 

Our Points of Light Awardees!!!



The Turocy/Pepin Family

Award Number: 
  November 17, 2015

The Turocy/Pepin Family is one of 10 service-minded families being recognized by Points of Light and Disney in honor of Family Volunteer Day, Nov. 21.

If you’re fortunate enough to not have to worry about where your next meal is coming from, you may not be able to relate to the hardships associated with hunger. Malnutrition is a very serious issue plaguing many communities throughout this country. Whether it’s not having an adequate amount of food, or just a lack of healthy options, there are far too many people who suffer.

Tackling such an issue as hunger is not an individual effort, instead it takes more of a unified, collective approach. Together, The Turocy/ Pepin family is helping grow a healthy end to hunger.

turocy-pepin-lisa2c_ty_and_son.jpg.webpThe Turocy/Pepin’s at the Katie’s Krops Four Year Anniversary.

Feeding the community truly is a family affair. Using their gardening skills, Ty Pepin, his wife, Lisa Turocy, and their son, Alexander, works closely with Katie’s Krops.

Katie’s Krops is an organization aimed at fighting hunger. Their mission is to start and maintain vegetable gardens of all sizes and donate the harvest to help feed those in need.

In 2008, for a school project, nine-year-old Katie Stagliano planted a single cabbage in her front yard; seven years later the idea has flourished into a movement. Katie’s Krops now consist of 83 gardens all across the country, all maintained by the local children of the community.

“I could not have grown Katie’s Krops without the help of the Turocy/ Pepin family,” said Katie. “They give with all their heart and have provided healthy food to thousands of people.”

Lisa, who’s been an avid gardener since 1998, has been on hand to help Katie’s Krops since the very beginning. As a Master Gardener, she uses her experience, as well as provides personal guidance, to assist the children in maintaining the gardens. Whether she is sharing tips or out there helping plant herself, Lisa’s commitment has not wavered.

turocy-pepinalexander.jpg.webpAlexander gardening in the Katie’s Krops Flagship Garden.

“I made the commitment to a little girl who had a dream, and that was important to me,” said Lisa. “It’s incredible that my training as a Master Gardener could in turn help someone else begin to make their dream a reality.”

While Lisa’s knowledge of gardening is necessary, it is her husband’s involvement behind the scenes that keeps the gardens functioning. From building a raised bed for the crops, to building the Katie’s Krops website, Ty’s do-it-all approach goes a long way toward fighting hunger.

Attempting to cure the sickness of hunger has truly been a family effort. For proof of that, look no further then future Master Gardener, Alexander. At just 5 years old, Alexander is no stranger to the garden. Ever since he could walk, he has been assisting his parents in the field. He is also an advocate for agriculture as he engages his classmates to assist with Katie’s Krops.

“I love working with Katie in the Katie Krops garden,” said Alexander. “Katie’s Krops is awesome,” he added.

Being able to provide for those less fortunate while nurturing the future leaders of tomorrow is an opportunity that Lisa and Ty truly cherish.

“One of the greatest gifts we can give is to encourage that love of the environment and the world to our children,” said Ty.

The Turocy/ Pepin family proves that family volunteering is effective. With a collective effort anything is possible. A unified approach trumps a singular effort, and with the help of like minded individuals, there is no goal that is unattainable.

“For those who want to make a difference in their community, I would tell them that you can truly accomplish whatever you have set your sights on and that you can do anything no matter how young or old you are,” said Lisa.  “Always believe in yourself and never give up.”

Celebrating Five Year of Garden to Table Dinners & The First Responders of Our Community

On Thursday, October 22nd we will celebrate the 5th Anniversary of the Katie’s Krops Garden to Table Dinner. As we thought about how we wanted to honor and celebrate this milestone, we thought about the heroes of our community, those individuals who rarely get the praise they deserve, those who serve and protect us every day, those who have been there for Katie’s Krops and the families we serve. The answer became very clear.  For our 5th anniversary dinner we want to celebrate the first responders of our community: the police, the firemen and women and the EMS. 

Thank you for everything you have done for our community, Katie’s Krops and for my family.

Thank you to the Summerville Fire Department for saving our garden at Spann Elementary. When the water at the school was turned off for an extended period of time for construction there was no way to water the garden. We were on the verge of losing all of the crops that feed students in need at the school.  Summerville Fire Station 5 came to the rescue and watered   the raised beds and saved the garden.

The families we help have become our extended family. They are families struggling with hunger, homelessness, illness and poverty. When a family we care deeply for received a welfare check, the deputy looked at their home which was in disrepair and asked if they needed help. The response was grateful yes! That weekend the officer gathered his friends and came back to the home. The team, which was led by the officer cleaned, and made needed repairs to the home for the family.

My brother has been by my side, helping to grow Katie’s Krops since 2008. He works in the garden and helps at the dinners. I would not be where I am today without him. This summer while on the pool deck, he suffered a seizure. Within moments the fire fighters were there to render immediate aid. The EMS workers quickly followed and provided him with excellent care and transported him to the hospital. I am forever grateful for the care my brother received that day.

These are just a few examples of why we want to honor the first responders of our community on October 22nd. 

Our Anniversary Dinner will be held on Thursday, October 22nd in the Fellowship Hall at Summerville Baptist Church. This extra special dinner will be served at 6pm. The doors will open at 5:30pm. As always, the dinner is hot, healthy and free.

Please join us as we celebrate 5 years of our garden to table dinner and those who serve and protect our community. 

The 2016 Katie’s Krops Grant Cycle is now open!!

The 2016 Katie’s Krops Grant Cycle is now open!! Thank you to all of our wonderful sponsors for their support and enabling us to continue to grow our dream! If you would like to apply for a 2016 Katie’s Krops Grant, please visit our “Apply for a Grant” page to download the Katie’s Krops 2016 Grant Application. Please review the application carefully and let us know if you have any questions. Before placing your completed application in your mailbox, make sure that you have filled out every page, answered every question, and also included your letter of recommendation. All applications
must be postmarked by December 31, 2015, and only applications that are mailed will be accepted. We will NOT accept e-mailed applications. Thank you and good luck to all of you that will be applying!

A Dream Come True

Five years ago I made a decision that forever changed the course of Katie’s Krops. That decision was to offer grants to other kids across the country to start Katie’s Krops gardens. I was only 12-years-old and filled with doubts. Would anyone apply for a grant? Did other kids truly share my passion for growing an end to hunger?

Putting my doubts aside, we moved forward with launching the first Katie’s Krops grant cycle. The results were truly surprising. Over 200 applications were submitted for the very first Katie’s Krops grant cycle. Selecting the recipients proved to be the biggest challenge. I poured over the 200 plus applications, reading and reviewing each and everyone. One stood out among the rest, a class of third grade students in Watkinsville, Georgia. I selected Mrs. McGrath’s third grade class as one of our very first growers and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made!

Fast forward five years.  I finally had the honor of visiting one of our longest standing gardens in Watkinsville, Georgia. You see, with over 80 plus gardens growing across the country it is impossible to visit even a small fraction of the gardens that bear the Katie’s Krops name.

The moment I walked into the classroom the energy was electric. The students greeted me with open arms, eager to share the gardens. Yes gardens, plural. With every year, with every third grade class that passes through Mrs. McGrath’s classroom their garden grows and expands!

The door leading out of the classroom into their garden is paved with ‘Gardening with a Purpose’, a sign of what these students do each and every day. You are welcomed into a garden filled with raised beds filled with vegetables. A beautiful garden mural adorns one wall. Fig trees and even a greenhouse constructed from recycled windows complete the garden. This is the garden that was constructed the very first year that the students started growing with Katie’s Krops.

Next the students guided me to a chicken coop filled with fresh eggs and chickens racing around. This is year two with Katie’s Krops. A walk to a beautifully fenced in-garden wrapped with fragrant flowers brought us to year three. Inside the fence, hand painted stepping stones led us down a path  to a lush garden filled with berry bushes, raised beds, flowers and vegetables. The pride these students had for their work was amazing. Lastly, we explored year four, the fruit orchard.

Words on a page do not do the gardens justice. How can I express just how proud I am of these students? How can I express how grateful I am to Mrs. McGrath? She is the driving force behind these students. She is the amazing woman who spends her in-school, out-of-school and summer hours growing my dream. How can I express how proud I am to have my name associated with this garden? There simply are not words to do so.

To that 12-year-old girl who was filled with doubts about who would apply for a grant, who would share the dream to grow and end hunger, in five years you will walk into the most amazing garden and realize dreams do come true! To Mrs. McGrath’s students in Watkinsville, Georgia, I can’t wait to see what happens in year five!

What is a Katie’s Krops Dinner, Celebrating 5 amazing years!

What is a Katie’s Krops Dinner?

The 5 year anniversary of the Katie’s Krops Dinner is rapidly approaching. It seemed only appropriate to update and share this blog again. Thank you to everyone who has helped us make each and every Katie’s Krops Dinner possible! #EndHunger #FiveYearsStrong

One, sometimes two, times a month we host a Katie’s Krops Dinner. So just what is a Katie’s Krops Dinner? Why do we host Katie’s Krops Dinners?


Almost five years ago a need presented itself in my community. That need was for hot, healthy, free meals for families and individuals facing hunger. The only soup kitchen in our community had to shut their doors for financial reasons. I had been donating fresh vegetables from our Katie’s Krops gardens to the soup kitchen. The individuals who relied on the soup kitchen for meals had become my friends. In my heart I knew I needed to help them, to find a way to provide healthy meals to these individuals. I may have been only twelve years old, but I recognized that our local Katie’s Krops Gardens and my friends could be the solution to this problem.


What was the solution? Using the harvest from our gardens we could create healthy, hot meals for anyone in need in my home town, Summerville, South Carolina. At Katie’s Krops, we had always donated our harvest to food pantries, soup kitchens and directly to families in need but at that point in time we had never cooked with our harvest. I approached the head of Food Services at my school, Mr. McNeill and my 6th Grade Science teacher, Cory Fuller. Together we created a plan. We would arrange a meal based on the harvest from our Katie’s Krops Gardens. What we couldn’t grow we would need to purchase. Our garden volunteers would help us create the dinner. The very first Katie’s Krops Dinner was born.

That very first night we came together to host a dinner was so very special. My friends and I, under the direction of our Head Chef Mr. McNeill prepared a wonderful meal. We were able to connect with the people that our gardens helped. We took to the kitchen, the majority of the volunteers only in the 6th grade. Mr. McNeill directed us on knife skills and food safety. The guests arrived, perhaps a little surprised to see such a young crew creating their meal. At the end of the night everyone in the kitchen knew that this was the start of something very special.


Over four years have passed since that very first dinner. The premise for the dinner stays the same. Every meal is based on the harvest from our gardens. We harvest the vegetables on the day we serve them, at the peak of nutrition. The meals are prepared and served by youth under the direction of Mr. McNeill or Chef Jim Gray. Every volunteer who assists with the dinners spends time in the gardens helping to grow the food we serve. Katie’s Krops Dinners are truly garden to table.


Over the course of four years several things have changed. After overcoming several location changes we now serve our dinners at Summerville Baptist Church and have done so for three plus years. The parishioners have welcomed us with open arms and embraced the belief that youth can end hunger one vegetable garden at a time. The number of guests we now serve has grown to an average of 150 per dinner. We never know just how many guests will join us. It is all part of the adventure.


We have an amazing core group of volunteers, our crew. My former 6th grade science teacher Ms. Cory and our Head Chef lead our crew as we, in under two hours, prepare a healthy hot meal for 150 people. We have guests that have never missed a dinner. In fact the meals have become a wonderful social event, a way for families who are facing challenges to support one and other.

What have I learned over the four plus years that we have hosted our dinners? I have learned that you can eat healthy on a tight budget. Our dinners are not extravagant, they do not cost a great deal of money but they are healthy, hot and well balanced always including lots of fresh vegetables, protein and a starch. I have learned that no matter how young you are you can make a difference in this world. I have learned the joy that a hot meal can bring to an individual facing hunger. And I have learned how blessed I am to have amazing support from my community, my friends and their parents, my teachers, and my parents.


Thank you to everyone who has helped make each and every Katie’s Krops Dinners possible. Here is to another 5 amazing years!


12-Year-Old Madi Sutton Named 2015 Katie’s Krops Grower of the Year

We are thrilled to announce 12-year-old Madi Sutton of North Carolina is the 2015 Katie’s Krops Grower of the Year. Madi has been growing with Katie’s Krops for three year. Last year alone, Madi grew and donated 2,400 pounds of produce from her garden. In addition to growing, Madi raised $1,000 for Katie’s Krops by writing and winning a grant that will help keep Katie’s Krops growing. “It feels really good to be able to give back,” said Madi Sutton, “I try to increase how much I grow and how much I donate every year.”

Madi was one of fourteen Katie’s Krops growers chosen to attend the 3rd Annual Katie’s Krops Camp sponsored by W.P. Rawl this July where she was presented with the award. “Madi truly embodies the spirit of Katie’s Krops. She goes above and beyond each and every year. We are thrilled to be able to present her with this award and scholarship,” notes Stacy Stagliano, President of Katie’s Krops.

In addition to growing and raising funds for Katie’s Krops, Madi speaks about her efforts to grow a healthy end to hunger. Madi has shared her story with Upward Elementary School, First Baptist Church East Flat Rock, and also with Vacation Bible School at Mud Creek Baptist Church.

Join us for an Extra Special Katie’s Krops Dinner

Join us at the Katie’s Krops Dinner table Wednesday, July 22nd at 5:30 p.m. at Summerville Baptist Church located at 417 Central Avenue in Summerville, South Carolina for an extra special dinner. We will gather our harvest & come together to prepare a delicious & free meal for anyone in need in our community. The dinner will also offer a cool location in this period of extreme heat for the homeless & those without air conditioning in our community. We would greatly appreciate your help spreading the word. Everyone is welcome at the Katie’s Krops Dinner table.

Boys & Girls Club Gardening Project | Troy-Bilt

Troy-Bilt® was founded on a passion for gardening. Now we’ve partnered with Katie’s Krops to inspire the next generation of gardeners and feed people in their community. We worked with Téa and Tina at the Boys & Girls Club to help them break ground on a garden that will feed the kids and families who attend the club.