1 in 8 people in the United States struggle to put food on their plates.
That’s according to the latest 2017 statistics released by non-profit FeedingAmerica.org.
A South Carolina Woman is on a mission to lower that number, one garden at a time.
Age is just a number.
Katie Stagliano, founder of Katie’s Krops, is proving that it’s never too early to achieve your dream.
“I started all of this when I was 9 years old,” she says.
Her dream is to reduce food insecurity in the United States.
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.
“I brought my seedling home. I planted it in my back yard and it just kept growing and growing,” says Stagliano.
Before she knew it, the cabbage checked in at a whopping 40 pounds.
“I was just blown away. 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,” she says.
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,” she says.
That 40 pound cabbage fed 275 people.
Stagliano explains, “Imagine how many people an entire garden could feed.”
Her dream, planted, and, from that, her non-profit “Katie’s Krops” was born.
She says, “That was the start of Katie’s Krops. It all kind of snowballed from there.”
Snowballed into a non-profit that now has 100 gardens growing in 31 states across the country.
“And all of these gardens are run by youth between the ages of 9 and 16 at schools, in their backyard, community centers, churches, libraries,” says Stagliano.
Cheron Bryant, a teacher at Oak Christian School says, “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.”
Bottom line: This is the kind of impact Katie’s Krops is having around the country.
“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. [It’s] about giving back,” says Stagliano.