When she planted a cabbage seedling, 9-year-old Katie Stagliano had no idea how that little seedling would grow to impact both her community and her life. She watched as her seed, part of a school gardening project, grew into an enormous 40-pound cabbage that ultimately made its way to a local soup kitchen, where it fed over 275 hungry people.
Small gestures can have surprisingly big outcomes. Stagliano wasn’t expecting her cabbage to blossom into a project that she now, at age 16, manages nationally. The 40-pound cabbage that fed so many people in her South Carolina community served as a stepping stone for an initiative to create gardens for local charities in all 50 states, reports the Huffington Post.
Her efforts began when Stagliano saw the power of that one little seedling. Soon after, she created a community garden on donated land near her elementary school, and launched a project known as Katie’s Krops to feed the hungry. That garden ultimately supplied 3,000 pounds of produce for local soup kitchens and charities, reports a 2014 Time article.
One in seven people in America utilize food banks and charities due to extreme hunger or poverty, according to Feeding America. As of 2015, Katie’s Krops has contributed to the fight against hunger by establishing approximately 80 gardens in 29 states, with a goal of 500 gardens in 50 states.
Stagliano received the Clinton Global Citizen Award in 2012, in addition to the satisfaction of knowing her gardens have made a positive contribution to efforts to resolve the hunger crisis.
The story of Katie’s Krops continues to have a strong influence on her classmates and other youth seeking to make a difference in the lives of others. Stagliano’s book, “Katie’s Cabbage,” recounts how a little seedling grew into a nationwide effort to feed the hungry. The book is inspires children to join the effort and bring awareness to the hunger problem that exists in so many areas of the country.