Making a Difference

Cabbage Patch Kid: Katie’s Krops Feeds the Hungry Across the Country

Katie Stagliano never expected the little cabbage seedling she planted in her backyard five years ago would grow to a whopping 40 pounds, or that it would help feed nearly 300 hungry people in her South Carolina community, or that it would land her in the company of President Bill Clinton.

But that seedling was determined — and so was Katie.

After the little-cabbage-that-could swelled in size, Katie — just a 10-year-old at the time — got inspired. She organized her classmates and started a garden at her Summerville, South Carolina, school to feed hundreds of starving families. The local project grew into Katie's Krops, a nonprofit that seeds 75 gardens in 27 states.

"My dream was no hungry children," Katie told NBC News in 2009.

Katie, who just turned 16, has been recognized by many esteemed organizations. Two years ago, she was one of six recipients of the Clinton Global Citizen Award for fighting hunger with agricultural ingenuity. She even got to chat with the former president.

"I remember my mom pulled me out of a math class and said, 'You just got a letter from President Clinton' ... and I couldn't wrap my head around it," Katie said.

Katie has an ambitious long-term goal: 500 gardens in all 50 states. And the teen is also busy writing her first book, "Katie's Cabbage," which will be published in December.

"We just want to impact as many people as possible," Katie said. "If we empower other kids and inspire other people, hopefully we can start making a change and a big impact."

Image: Katie's Krops
Katie's Krops NBC News

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Each night this week, NBC's Nightly News will catch up with the subjects of some of its most popular stories in the "Making a Difference" series, which launched in 2005. If you'd like to share your "Making a Difference" story, click here.

— Natalie Morales, Kelly Venardos and Daniel Arkin