When Katie Stagliano was in the third grade, she brought home a cabbage seedling as a homework assignment. She cared for it and watched it grow to an abnormal size, then Katie started to think about how many people this enormous vegetable could feed. The cabbage eventually grew to 40lbs, and when Katie donated it to a soup kitchen she was amazed to see it provide a meal for 275 people in need.
“I thought wow, they´re just like my family,” she says. “They could be my family and have just fallen on hard times.”
Katie is a very special kid. “At the age of nine, I did not have a true understanding of the complexities of the issue of hunger,” she explains. “What I did understand was that there were individuals and families in my community who did not have enough to eat. I have a backyard where I could and do grow fresh vegetables and donate the produce to families that are struggling with hunger — a simple solution to a problem that is not only in my community, but also globally.”
All of this led to the founding of Katie´s Krops- a community gardening initiative to donate vegetables to soup kitchens that has now grown into a huge operation, with 75 youth-run gardens in 27 states since Katie first grew that huge cabbage six years ago. She has raised over $200,000 and people all over the country are donating land for her cause. This student´s amazing can-do attitude and big heart is humbling.
“Some people approach an issue and think, this problem´s just too big, I can´t do anything about it.” Katie says. “But it doesn´t matter how small your actions are, you´re making a difference. I know that hunger is way too big for one person to take on, but you never know what you can grow with one thing.”
For more information on this brilliant project, see www.katieskrops.com