Teenager Katie Stagliano is fighting world hunger. She is the founder of Katie's Krops, a national youth movement that runs 83 vegetable gardens and a grant program for setting up more. She began by donating a giant cabbage to a soup kitchen when she was 8 years old. By age 11, Stagliano had created six gardens in her South Carolina hometown. Her can-do attitude mobilizes youth and communities across the United States to grow and donate produce for homeless shelters.
Katie's First Crop
Katie has been growing vegetables destined for soup kitchen donations ever since her 40-pound cabbage fed 245 people in 2008. The 8-year-old Katie grew the cabbage from seedlings she received from the Bonnie Plants organization, and she donated the massive vegetable to a Charleston homeless shelter.
Katie resolved to repeat the gesture. With help from community members in her hometown of Summerville, Stagliano created more gardens. Students from the local school began to contribute. In her first three years of gardening, the enterprising tween managed to donate 4,000 pounds of vegetables.
Since 2008, Katie's Krops — the gardening non-profit she founded — has itself enjoyed spectacular growth. It now sponsors children ages 9 to 16 to help them create their own urban or rural gardens. The organization encourages grantees to donate part of the produce to a person or charity of their choice.
Amazingly, this is not even Katie's first national education initiative. As a child, she started a water conservation program in her school. She went on to patent a toothbrush that plays a rap song that reminds children to conserve water. Her gardens are proof of her continuing interest in sustainability.
Katie Stagliano's dedication to solving big problems at the grassroots level is inspiring. Help support more young people as they fight against hunger in their communities by clicking the yellow button on The Hunger Site's homepage. In the right hands, a few greens go a long way.