Summerville’s Katie’s Krops reflects on over a decade of national community garden work

By Jerrel Floyd from The Post and Courier | Sep 30, 2020

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SUMMERVILLE — Not many people can say they were internationally recognized for their service, created a program that spans across the United States or are a published author.

Summerville native Katie Stagliano did all three by the time she was 21.

“Age is just a number,” she said. “You will be amazed at what you can accomplish.”

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Katie Stagliano (left) and her mother, Stacy, remove tree roots from a tiller they were using to break up soil in a garden bed on Wednesday Sept. 23, 2020, at Crossroads Community Church in Summerville. Gavin McIntyre/Staff

Stagliano is the founder of Katie’s Krops, a community garden organization with the goal of combating hunger by donating produce. She is also the organizer of Katie’s Krops’ Garden-To-Table Dinners, a program in which Stagliano and other volunteers serve fresh meals to local residents.

The organization started in 2008 with a garden in Stagliano’s backyard. It has since grown to more than 100 community gardens across the U.S. and over 38,000 pounds of donated produce. Its flagship garden is in Summerville at Crossroads Community Church.

The group also reached a milestone in September, serving more than 10,000 meals since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Nobody is making any money off of what we are doing,” said Ryan Herrmann, Katie’s Krops’ head chef for the past three years. “I love it.” 

Stagliano has been recognized by Disney Channel, has had documentaries created about her and wrote a children’s book about the beginnings of Katie’s Krops titled “Katie’s Cabbage.”

Those closest to her say she is incredibly humble and doesn’t talk much about her accomplishments.

Stagliano said she’s just still surprised that all of this started with a single cabbage seedling.

Planting a seed

Thousands of residents have benefited from Katie Krop’s over the years. It all began when Stagliano was in the third grade at Pinewood Preparatory School.

She was asked to bring home and raise a cabbage seedling as part of the Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Program. She planted it, watered it and even put a cage around it with her grandfather to protect it from deer.

As the cabbage grew, Stagliano eventually got the idea to donate it. It came from her father, John Stagliano, always telling her and her brother how blessed they were to have a meal every night.

Stagliano was advised to take the cabbage to a soup kitchen in North Charleston called Tri-County Family Ministries. The cabbage had grown so big, she couldn’t pick it up herself.

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Peppers grow on Wednesday Sept. 23, 2020, in a community garden started by Katie Stagliano at Crossroads Community Church in Summerville. Gavin McIntyre/Staff

“It was about the size of my 4-year-old brother,” she said.

The cabbage weighed in at 40 pounds at the soup kitchen. It would go on to feed 275 people, and Stagliano would go on to be inspired to expand her garden.

Stacy Stagliano said her daughter was always curious and interested child. She would always ask questions and wasn’t afraid to take the lead on things.

After donating her cabbage, the girl reached out to her school and told officials about her idea to start a community garden. The school ended up giving her a plot of land that was the size of a football field.

“There was really nothing that stopped her,” Stacy Stagliano said. “She just never saw the obstacles.”

At age 12, her daughter was donating produce to a soup kitchen called the Palmetto House through Katie’s Krops. One day they pulled up to the kitchen and saw a small crowd of people standing outside.

There was a handwritten sign on the front door of the kitchen detailing that it was permanently closed. Katie Stagliano took action immediately.

“She said we need to do something,” her mother said.

This led to the creation of Katie’s Krops Garden-To-Table Dinners. Every month at Summerville Baptist Church, a group of volunteers with Katie’s Krops serves a meal to Summerville residents.

The organization is youth-based, meaning young people are often the ones helping to cook the meals and work in the garden. They’ve implemented a seed program where thousands of seeds are shipped across the country to help other children start community gardens.

Camps have also been organized to teach children about community gardening. Herrmann, the head chef, said it’s crazy to think that Stagliano started doing all of this when she was 9.

“It’s inspiring,” he said. “She is something else.”

Filling a need

This year Stagliano was recognized by the National Geographic Society as a young explorer along with 21 other young people from six countries.

The recognition comes with funding and a connection to other community youth leaders across the world. Stagliano is hoping to use the opportunity as a way to expand Katie’s Krops to 500 gardens across all 50 states.

“I never ever imagined in my wildest dreams that any of this would’ve ever happened,” she said.

When the COVID-19 pandemic made its way to South Carolina in March, Stagliano said she knew their dinner program would become even more of a necessity.

So instead of one in-person dinner a month, the group created a weekly to-go dinner program. They also went from seeing 250 meals a month to around 400 in a week.

“People were scared and we knew that we needed to be there,” she said.

Residents can come by Summerville Baptist Church every Thursday around 5 p.m. to pick up a meal. The organization is also always open to volunteers.

Scott Johnson and his daughter, Marley, have been volunteering with Katie’s Krops since the beginning of the summer. He sees it as an opportunity to help fellow citizens and teach his daughter about helping people in need.

“I think it’s very good to see someone at such a young age doing so much, especially in the community,” he said. 

Stagliano said the current flagship garden at Crossroads Community Church is a testament to how much she and others in the program have learned about gardening.

They have a compost program and a library where people can read in the garden. They’re also building an outdoor classroom. Stagliano said she wants the community to really use the garden and for it to be a place where everyone is welcome.

Now a College of Charleston student, she feels like everything up to this point, including the cabbage seedling, was meant to be. Stacy Stagliano said she’s incredibly proud of her daughter. She also gets emotional thinking about how the Summerville community allowed a child to lead.

“It’s been an amazing journey,” she said.

Stagliano doesn’t get overwhelmed thinking about all that she has been able to accomplish at her age. She said she knows it wouldn’t have been possible without support from the community.

It can be easy for a young person to have a dream and get overwhelmed trying to complete, she said. That’s the reason it’s a youth-based organization.

She said wants to help and show kids they can make their dreams a reality.

‘Seeds of Change’ inspires new crop of young gardeners during coronavirus pandemic

Published on USA Today

When school went virtual in the spring due to the coronavirus pandemic, Angie Ackerman had to find a creative way to make the sudden change in her children’s routine more engaging.

She learned that a local non-profit called Katie’s Krops near her home in Summerville, S.C., had started distributing seeds to children who were stuck at home when school buildings closed to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Within days, the Ackermans received a letter in the mail along with seed packages for sunflowers, cantaloupes, tomatoes and peppers.

Her youngest Bennett, 6, in particular, took to the garden. He would venture outside with his Batman watering can in hand to track the growth of the single sunflower they planted. He measured the growth of the flower standing back to back with it, his mother described.

“That shift to virtual schooling was a big change. I really wanted to do something extra for my kids to help them through it,” she said.

Evelyn, 9, and Bennett, 6, with the sunflower they planted through the Seeds of Change program at their home in Summerville, S.C.

Community garden non-profit grows

The Seeds of Change program is an offshoot of Katie’s Krops, a decade-old non-profit founded by Katie Stagliano when she was only 10 years old.

The young entrepreneur started the program as a community garden to provide fresh produce to local food banks. Using produce from the Summerville garden, the organization serves a free meal to up to 250 people a month.

When the pandemic hit, they changed course.

The newly implemented, drive-thru model has provided about 9,000 meals since March. They typically average 2,500 per year.”We’ve seen people come on foot, on bike from as far as 35 miles away for food. People are truly struggling right now,” Stagliano said.

In the last decade, the project has grown beyond South Carolina and provides financial support to growers in 31 states and around 100 gardens located in schools and run by youth organizations.

Planting gardens at home

Katie Stagliano, 22, the founder of Katie’s Krops, a Summerville, S.C. based non-profit distributes free meals using vegetables grown in her community garden.

Each garden was set up as a way to provide direct access to fresh produce for families in need within those communities. However, once schools and youth clubs closed due to COVID-19 protective measures, children could no longer gain access to the gardens, she said.

“We would have a single teacher manning a whole community garden,” Stagliano said. “Meanwhile, the need for fresh produce grew tenfold, especially among children who all of a sudden had limited access to the free meals they were typically provided at school.”

Katie’s Krops had amassed donated seed packages that could no longer be sent out to their wide network of traditional community gardens.

That was when Stagliano and her team began shipping seeds to families interested in starting their own backyard gardens as a way to help them feed themselves and their neighbors.

Since the start of the pandemic, they have shipped over 2,100 seed packets to more than 270 families across 23 states, including the Carolinas, Tennessee, Georgia and Louisiana.

‘It was like pulling up treasures’

The shift has also created a wave of generosity.

“It’s engaged people from all walks of life to grow some of their own food and share it with their neighbors,” Stagliano said.

Aeden May, 8, pulls up a batch of carrots he planted in a backyard garden at his home in Mount Pleasant, S.C.

Aeden, 8, and his brother Maeson May, 10, have watched the garden they planted in their backyard grow since the spring. Maeson recently harvested a bundle of carrots he planted from seed.

“It was like pulling up treasures,” his mother Angela May said.

She wanted her sons to continue thriving and learning despite not being able to go to school in the traditional classroom setting.

The garden was an opportune learning tool.

“We had success. Especially with the kids home from school every day, they got to see the plants grow. I want them to continue feeling inspired,” May said.

Crops For Change: Volunteers Grow Gardens Nationwide To Feed Hungry Families Amidst Coronavirus

DAILY POINT OF LIGHT # 6780 | MAY 20, 2020 |

The average grocery store cabbage weighs a couple of pounds. So when Katie Stagliano grew a 40-pound cabbage in her home garden as a 3rd grader, she knew she had to share the bountiful crop. 275 people fed later at a local soup kitchen, the now 21-year-old Summerville, South Carolina resident says she realized the power of her harvest.

“I brought home this cabbage seedling as part of a school project, and planted it in our backyard, watering and weeding around it every day. Once it grew into a 40-pound cabbage, we knew it was far too big for just my family. It really opened my eyes to hunger. If one cabbage can feed 275 people, imagine how many people an entire garden could feed. That was the inspiration for my volunteerism. I wanted to help feed people in need.”

Launching Katie’s Krops in 2008 with the idea that “it only takes a seedling”, Katie, who serves as founder and chief executive gardener, has inspired hundreds of other gardeners, growing to include vegetable gardens of all sizes in 30 states across the country. Katie’s Krops “Growers”, aged 9-16 from California to Washington to Texas, run gardens in their backyards, school yards, and anywhere they can get permission to grow produce, their healthy harvests donated to help food insecure individuals and families. In total, Katie says 250,000-pounds of produce have been donated since 2008, not just feeding hungry mouths, but also changing the future for thousands of people in the U.S., says Katie’s Krops Grower Ian McKenna, a 15-year-old volunteer from Austin, Texas.

“Katie’s Krops has helped many, many, many people. I’ve grown thousands of pounds of produce to donate to people who are struggling with food insecurity. The food I am bringing them helps in more ways than just feeding them. If a kid receives our food, it helps them with school because I know if I’m at school and I haven’t eaten for awhile, I have trouble focusing. That, by extension, is helping their future.”

Katie Stagliano Daily Point of Light Award Honoree
AS A THIRD-GRADER, KATIE STAGLIANO GREW A 40-POUND CABBAGE IN HER HOME GARDEN, HER DREAM OF GROWING A HEALTHY END TO HUNGER, ONE VEGETABLE GARDEN AT A TIME, STARTING WITH JUST ONE SEEDLING. /COURTESY KATIE STAGLIANO
Feeding some of the more than one in ten U.S. households that experienced food insecurity in 2018 with fresh vegetables including tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans, eggplant, okra and more, Katie says that her dream of growing a healthy end to hunger, one vegetable garden at a time, is slowly becoming a reality.

“When I first began this service, I wasn’t really aware of the issue of hunger, food insecurity and how it affects families. People who have lost their jobs are dealing with medical bills and are worried about putting food on the table. (Katie’s Krops) has opened up my eyes to not only the problems the world is facing but also the amazing people who are passionate about making a difference and the changes we are able to make.”

Those changes are far reaching and yet personal for Katie, who is able to interact with recipients of her fresh vegetables.

Katie Stagliano Daily Point of Light Award Honoree
KATIE’S KROPS IS CONTINUING TO SERVE HUNGRY FAMILIES DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, DISTRIBUTING 2,000 HEALTHY MEALS THUS FAR THROUGH WEEKLY DRIVE-UPS./COURTESY KATIE STAGLIANO

“I met a little girl at an event we hosted at a vacation bible school. The little girl raised her hand and said she didn’t have any questions for me, she just wanted to tell me that I was awesome. She walked up to me with a sticker that said “love” on it, and she gave me a hug and put the sticker on my heart. After all the kids left the room one of the counselors explained to me that the vegetables I’d brought for the event to help feed a homeless family were given to that little girl’s family. The family had been struggling to put food on the table. It’s heartbreaking to see that families just like mine have fallen on hard times and I know the solution starts with just one seedling to start helping these people.”

And now, as she continues her work to end hunger, Katie is adjusting her organization’s offerings to make sure hungry families can still receive food amidst the coronavirus pandemic, swapping what used to be a monthly garden to table dinner for weekly drive-up dinners for her community.

“Since in-person dinners are no longer possible, we are now doing weekly drive-up dinners every Thursday. For the past two months, we’ve been creating the meals and boxing them up for distribution to families in South Carolina. There are so many individuals out of work and out of school and struggling, so we want to be there for them. We’ve been trying to do fun and different meals while also keeping everyone’s meals healthy to keep everyone’s immune systems up. We’ve served two-thousand meals thus far and we will continue doing this for as long as it’s necessary.”

Do you want to make a difference in your community like Katie Stagliano? Find local volunteer opportunities.

Katie’s Krops: Feeding the Lowcountry 1 garden at a time

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD)- A local organization called “Katie’s Krops” has been feeding the Lowcountry for over a decade. With COVID-19 impacting the community, they’ve decided to increase their monthly meal distribution to a weekly basis.

Katie Stagliano’s story is known all over the world. In 2008, 9-year-old Stagliano planted a tiny seedling that grew into a cabbage. This cabbage happened to weigh 40 pounds and fed over 275 people at a local soup kitchen.

“So after I donated my cabbage and I saw how many people it fed, I decided that I wanted to start a garden,” says Stagliano.

Her green thumb soon developed into a passion. She started donating her fresh fruits and veggies to the soup kitchen.

“Our local soup kitchen in our area had to shut their doors due to funding,” she says. “I was really worried about all the people who had been relying on the soup kitchen for food.”

She soon came up with a plan to put her garden to good use. With the help of her friends, a chef, and Summerville Baptist Church, her vision came to life.

“That was the birth of the “Katie’s Krops” dinners. I thought, I have all of these gardens, and they’re filled with vegetables,” says Stagliano.

Once a month, they cook a big sit-down meal and gather at the church. Every plate is made with fresh produce from the multitude of gardens they’ve planted in the Lowcountry.

“We harvested 14 and a half pounds this morning. All fresh from the garden,” says Stagliano’s friend Peyton Kelley, referring to the kale in tonight’s dinner.

Katie’s Krops dinners turned into a 2nd family for Stagliano. She says that these individuals have been able to watch her grow through multiple stages of her life.

With COVID-19 eliminating the possibility for large gatherings, they have started passing out to-go dinners via curbside pickup.

“I’ve actually really enjoyed passing out the meals, through the cars because it gives me a chance to talk to each and every guest that comes through, and it’s been so great during a tough time to see so many familiar faces and interact with some of my favorite people so it’s been really amazing,” says Stagliano.

She has plans to graduate from the College of Charleston this year and take on Katie’s Krops as a full time operation. For more information on hot meal pick-up, click here.

Empowered Woman Wednesday: How Katie Stagliano is Fighting Hunger in the U.S. (And How You Can Help!)

BY RACHEL ASCHENBRAND-ROBINSON FROM LULUS

katie stagliano of katies krops

For South Carolina native, Katie Stagliano, giving back to her community started early. At the age of nine, she became keenly aware of how many Americans are affected by food insecurity–and her dream “to grow a healthy end to hunger” was born.

Stagliano founded Katie’s Krops, an organization that empowers young people around the country to start vegetable gardens in their communities and donate the harvests to the needy. Now, over 10 years later, Katie’s Krops funds gardens in 30 states–and counting. We spoke to this inspiring woman about the power of youth, the lessons that can be learned from a garden, and how you can join her in ending food insecurity and hunger.

katie stagliano with vegetables to help food insecurity

Lulus: Tell us about Katies Krops–what is it and how did it start?

Katie Stagliano: In 2008, when I was just nine years old, I received a cabbage seedling from the Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Program. I planted my seedling in my backyard and every day I would water it. I would fertilize the cabbage and weed around it. My family and I watched it grow and grow and grow in size…when my cabbage was fully grown it weighed in at an amazing 40 pounds!

I knew my cabbage was special and it needed to find a special home. My mom contacted Fields to Families, a local organization that helps farmers get crops to organizations that feed the hungry. They recommended we share it with Tricounty Family Ministries.

katie stagliano with giant cabbage

In May of 2008, my family and I brought my cabbage to Tri-County Family Ministries. When I walked in, I saw a huge line of people waiting for what might be the only meal they would have that day. When it was time to serve my cabbage to the guests, they thanked me for helping to feed them. My one cabbage helped to feed 275 people. After seeing how many people my one cabbage helped to feed, I thought, “how many people can a garden feed?” And that was the inspiration for me to start Katie’s Krops.

I started with a garden at my home, then school, but I quickly realized that the larger the gardens, and the more gardens, the bigger the impact I could have on hunger. When I start hearing from kids across the country asking how they could help. I decided to start giving grants to other kids to start their own Katie’s Krops garden–[that was] eight years ago. I have built on the model over the past eight years growing to 100 gardens in 30 states.

kids growing vegetables to prevent food insecurity

Lulus: How did you get into gardening? Did you learn from your family?

KS: My family has always had a small vegetable garden in our backyard, and both my grandfather and my great-grandmother were avid gardeners. I remember whenever I went over to my great-grandparent’s house, she would always have fresh berries growing and would pick them to share with us.

vegetable garden to help people with food insecurity

After I brought my cabbage home is when I truly became an avid gardener. I believe everything happens for a reason. There was a reason I picked the cabbage seedling I did because it was meant to lead me down a path and change my life. I was blessed to be connected with Ms. Lisa, my master gardener, who has truly taught me so many things about gardening and has been an integral part of Katie’s Krops for the past 10 years.

Lulus: What does “food insecurity” mean exactly? How common is it?

KS: Many take for granted that they will always have access to food–and be able to afford food. Sadly, that is not the case for many. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines “food insecurity” as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. Food insecurity and hunger are similar but different, as hunger is a physical issue, and food insecurity is the disruption of food intake or eating patterns because of lack of money and other resources.

Food insecurity may be long term or temporary and can be influenced by many factors such as income, unemployment or underemployment, food deserts, illness, or disability. The risk for food insecurity increases when money to buy food is limited or unavailable. One in nine Americans is affected by food insecurity– (it) affects all states.

katies krops volunteers to aid food insecurityi

Lulus: Are you surprised by how much Katie’s Krops has “grown?”

KS: Youth are a very powerful resource and are often turned away from volunteer opportunities because of their age. [Young people] have the best ideas and are so passionate, I wanted to ensure that with Katie’s Krops, youth would never be turned away from helping to end hunger in their community due to their age.

Never in a million years did I ever expect Katie’s Krops to grow to over 30 states across the U.S. I am so grateful for the support of so many incredible people across the United States, and the world, for believing in the power of youth to end hunger one vegetable garden at a time. I’m so excited to see what the future holds!

Lulus: Is that why your community krops are all youth-led?

KS: I believe the power of youth is something that needs to be tapped into more. Youth have incredible ideas and are not discouraged by obstacles, they believe in endless possibilities. When I first began Katie’s Krops, I was only nine years old and had a big dream to end hunger. I was amazed by the support I received from youth across the country and how many kids wanted to get involved. I wanted to pay it forward to other youth and help them follow their dreams. That’s why I decided to give grants to other youth to help them start vegetable gardens and donate the produce to feed those in need in their community.

katie stagliano with child growing for katies krops

I am continually amazed by youth across the country and the incredible difference that they are making in their community. These youth are the future farmers and future philanthropists of our country. I believe it is so important to invest and support the future leaders of our country. There are so many lessons that can be learned from a garden.

Lulus: How can someone get involved with helping feed food-insecure people in their community?

KS: There are lots of different ways to get involved in your community. Most emergency food programs rarely receive donations of fresh vegetables, which are vital to a healthy diet, especially for young children as they’re growing. You can donate fresh produce, whether you have excess from your backyard or you pick up some extra while you are at the grocery store. Canned goods and nonperishables are great items to donate, as well.

If youth between the ages of 9-16 are interested, they can apply to become Katie’s Krops Growers, start a garden in their community, and donate the produce to feed those in need. The application can be found on our website, www.KatiesKrops.com. To help fund a Katie’s Krops garden, a donation of any amount can help empower youth to grow a healthy end to hunger and can be made on our website. We are so grateful for any amount that can be donated to help youth follow their dreams.

katie stagliano with basket of vegetables

Lulus: What’s your goal for the next year? And beyond?

KS: Next year, I am happy to say that I will be returning to Katie’s Krops full time after graduating from The College of Charleston in three years. I’m excited about this transition and to see what the future holds. I want to expand Katie’s Krops to have gardens in all 50 states–and empower even more youth to grow a healthy end to hunger.

Overall, the goal of Katie’s Krops is to end hunger. I know that seems like a lofty goal. But working together we can make a difference, one vegetable garden at a time.

40-pound cabbage inspires 9-year-old to reduce food insecurity in the United States

How Katie Stagliano founded non-profit Katie’s Krops

By: Laura Smith

CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – 1 in 8 people in the United States struggles to put food on their plates. That’s according to the latest 2017 statistics released by the non-profit FeedingAmerica.org.

But, a South Carolina woman has been on a mission to lower that number, one garden at a time, since she was in elementary school.

Katie Stagliano proves that age is just a number and it’s never too early to achieve your dream.

“I started all of this when I was 9 years old.” Katie’s dream? To reduce food insecurity in the United States, and it’s a real and big problem.

40 million people live in a household that’s food insecure, including more than 12 million children.

So back in 2008, as a 3rd grader, Katie got to work in the garden.

Katie says “I brought my seedling home. I planted it in my back yard and it just kept growing and growing.”

And before she knew it, that seed turned into a cabbage checking in at a whopping 40 pounds.

“I was just blown away,” says Stagliano, “I didn’t even know cabbages could even grow to be that big and I was just like this is far too much food for my family and I to eat.”

It was at that moment that Katie knew exactly what she wanted to do with the cabbage. “I decided I wanted to donate my cabbage to a soup kitchen and help families who didn’t have enough to eat.” And that 40-pound cabbage fed 275 people. “That’s when I got the idea that would change my life forever.”

Katie’s dream, planted and from that, her non-profit Katie’s Krops was grown.

“Imagine how many people an entire garden could feed and that was the start of Katie’s Krops. It all kind of snowballed from there.”

Snowballed into her non-profit that now has 100 gardens growing in 31 states across the country, all run by youth between the 9 and 16, in their backyards, at schools, community centers, churches, and libraries.

In the Lowcountry of South Carolina, students at Oak Christian school are getting their hands dirty while giving back.

Cheron Bryant, the teacher who runs the garden there tells us “We’ve been a Katie’s Krops grower for about four years now” and continues, saying “In 2018 alone we grew over 500 pounds of fresh produce that we donated.”

“The kids love it, they love it,” Cheron says. “I can be walking in the hallway and they will be like when do we get to go to the garden again?”

And that garden has been transformed into an outdoor classroom.

“They find worms, they find lizards and frogs, and they get to see how their gardens are growing.” Cheron says the kids can’t get enough and are learning in the process. “I’ve had parents say how did you get my child to eat salad? How did you get them to eat lettuce? It’s because they planted it and harvested it, they got to touch and feel it.”

This is the amazing impact Katie’s Krops is having around the country. Katie tells us “It’s so important for kids to learn about gardening at an early age or how to be able to feed themselves, feed their neighbors.”

And Katie’s work and good deeds over the last 11 years have not gone unnoticed. She’s received national recognition, including from US food company General Mills.

In 2018, Katie’s Krops donated more than 40,000lbs of fresh produce to people in need.

And there are so many ways you can help her organization end hunger. You can start a garden or buy something off Katie’s Krop’s wish list, just head to KatiesKrops.com.

Oh, and if you’re curious. The 40-pound cabbage she grew in 2008 is still her biggest vegetable to date, and cabbages are still her favorite thing to grow.

Meet Katie Stagliano — Founder of Katie’s Krops and Grand Prize Winner of General Mills Feeding Better Futures Scholar Program

Katie Stagliano received a tiny cabbage seedling in 3rd grade which changed her life. That seedling grew to be a 40lb cabbage, which Katie donated to a local soup kitchen called Tri-County Family Ministries.

“As I served my cabbage to the guests and they thanked me for helping to feed them, I knew I could, and I should do more to help,” said Katie. “My one cabbage helped to feed 275 people. After seeing how many people my one cabbage helped to feed, I thought how many people can a garden feed? And that was the inspiration for me to start Katie’s Krops.”

Katie’s Krops empowers kids to create vegetable gardens in their communities. The food grown in the gardens is then donated to shelters and people in need. Katie started Katie’s Krops in May 2008 when she was only nine, but she already understood how the issue of hunger impacts many families around the United States.

“Hunger can affect anyone: your neighbor, your classmates, your friends. Many people/families are just one paycheck away from not being able to put food on their dinner table. 1 in 6 people in America face hunger. Fresh produce should not be a luxury, it should be a staple in every household.”

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Meet our Grand Prize Winner: Katie Stagliano!

 

Katie’s Krops empowers kids across the country to grow fresh produce locally to fight hunger in communities. What’s next? Katie is headed to Aspen Ideas Festival in a few weeks where she’ll have the chance to share her idea and connect with industry leaders.

The Feeding Better Futures Contest Winner

The global population is rising, and our current food system simply isn’t equipped to handle it. We’re solving the food accessibility problems of today and tomorrow with help and ideas from amazing young people — like you.

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