Sometimes the seeds of inspiration don’t take root until we’re older. But not for Katie Stagliano of South Carolina. She discovered her calling at just nine years old when she received a cabbage seedling from the Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Program.
“I planted my seedling in my backyard. Every day I would come out with the watering can and water it.” she said. “I would fertilize the cabbage and weed around it. My family and I watched it grow and grow and grow in size.”
When her cabbage was fully grown, it weighed an astounding 40 pounds.
And just as her consistent care for the seedling sprouted a magnificent cabbage, it also sprouted a genuine interest in helping others.
“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,” she recalled. “The guests greeted me and asked if I grew the giant cabbage. 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 her one cabbage could feed, Katie thought about how many people can be fed from a full garden.
And that was the inspiration for Katie’s Krops!
The mission of Katie’s Krops is to empower youth to start vegetable gardens and donate the produce to those in need, as well as inspire others to do the same.
“I started with a garden at my home, then my school but I quickly realized that the larger the gardens, the more gardens, the bigger the impact I could have on hunger. I decided to start supporting other youth to start their own Katie’s Krops garden ten years ago,” she added.
Along with the fresh vegetables, the organization provides hot, healthy, and free garden-to-table meals at Katie’s Krops Dinners, where youth prepare and serve the dinners.
Over the past 12 years, Katie’s Krops has donated more than 500,000 pounds of fresh produce to help people struggling with hunger and food insecurity across the United States and has served over 30,000 free meals.
In May of 2020, Katie graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in communications. And now at 23 years old, she operates Katie’s Krops full time. She aspires to expand the organization 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 can be seen as a lofty goal, but working together, we can make a difference, one vegetable garden at a time,” she said.
Katie’s Krops Grower Grants Available: Apply by December 31, 2021
Kids ages 7-16 in the U.S. can apply to become a Katie’s Krops Grower and help end hunger in their community by starting a vegetable garden. Grantees receive an all-inclusive grower box, complete with everything necessary to start their own garden. Learn more and apply at www.KatiesKrops.com.
Keep up with Katie via social media:
Facebook: Katie’s Krops
Instagram: Katie’s Krops
Twitter: Katie’s Krops