March 07, 2014
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Bob Denomme, BI-LO senior director of produce, left, and Katie Stagliano, founder of Katie's Krops.​

BI-LO representatives traveled to Summerville, S.C. Feb. 27 to meet the extraordinary Katie Stagliano, the young founder of Katie’s Krops. They presented her organization with a $66,000 donation and witnessed firsthand what this spirited nonprofit is doing in the community.

Katie’s Krops is a nonprofit organization that empowers kids to fight hunger, one vegetable garden at a time. The organization is run entirely by children and Stagliano, its 15-year-old founder. It all began in 2008 when Stagliano brought home a tiny cabbage seedling from her third grade class and tended to her cabbage until it grew to an amazing 40 pounds. Knowing her cabbage was special, she donated it to a soup kitchen, where it helped to feed more than 275 people. Moved by the experience of seeing how her action helped people, she began to grow vegetable gardens and to donate the yields to help feed people in need. Today, those monthly donations are known as the Katie’s Krops dinner.

Katie’s dinners represent more than nourishment to 13-year-old Isaiah Mackey and his Mother Elois. Mackey and his family were living at a homeless shelter when Katie came to serve dinner, and she planted a new attitude in Isaiah.

“I love Katie’s Krops,” he said. “If it wasn’t for Katie’s Krops, I think I would still be mad and angry. But now so many people have helped me, I want to give back and help those in need.”

Mackey is now a part of the Katie’s Krops dinner crew and never misses a meeting or dinner. Katie’s Krops volunteers also helped to find the Mackey family housing and furnished their entire apartment in one day.

Like Katie’s Krops, BI-LO’s mission is to make the communities we serve better places by alleviating hunger, providing education and supporting children. BI-LO recently chose Katie’s Krops for its Community Donation Program in all BI-LO stores, an effort that produced a donation of $66,000.

“We are so grateful for this donation from BI-LO,” Stagliano said. “These funds will be used to grow and sustain the dream that kids can grow a healthy end to hunger, one vegetable garden at a time.”

“When I look at Katie and Katie’s Krops to see all the amazing things that this organization as already accomplished, it’s truly amazing,” expressed Bob Denomme, BI-LO senior director of produce. “I deal with a lot of farmers in my position, and I can tell you that it takes a lot of hard work to be as successful as Katie’s Krops!”

Today Katie’s Krops has 61 gardens throughout 25 states and is growing every year. Last year the organization produced more than 18,250 pounds of vegetables that were then provided to feed individuals in need.

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