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      Katie's Krops nurtures youths, grows with $66,000 Bi-Lo donation

      By Stacy Jacobsonsjacobson@abcnews4.com

      SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- With each scoop and each plate, the organization Katie's Krops fights hunger and feeds another hungry mouth.

      "Now we have over 61 vegetable gardens across the U.S. where produce is donated to those in need, as well as doing these monthly dinners," said Katie Stagliano, 15, who started Katie's Krops.

      One of those in need was 13-year-old Isaiah Mackey. He and his mother were living in a homeless shelter when Katie came to plant a garden to feed residents.

      She also planted a new attitude that would grow in Isaiah.

      "I would get so angry. If I wouldn't have met them I think I'd still be like that: a whole bunch of hate," Isaiah said.

      Now, he's full of joy, he said. And he volunteers; Isaiah serves up healthy portions of hope at Katie's Krops monthly dinners.

      "When I sit back in my bed, and I think about it, it makes me want to tear up and cry," he said. "So many people have helped me. It makes me feel good I can help them back."

      Since Katie first met Isaiah several years ago, her mission has spread to 25 states. Now, she teaches other kids to plant gardens to help serve fresh food to those in need.

      "We give out grants to other kids across the country and they start their vegetable gardens. We need money for grants and we need money for dinners because unfortunately, we can't grow meat and things like that," she said.

      Bi-Lo raised and donated $66,000 to the program Thursday. The grocery chain hoped to nurture and sustain Katie's Krops in to the future.

      "I cannot believe how big this program is and how good this program is. To see kids working, providing food and helping prepare food. And they're excited about it. It's just a great cause," said Bob Denomme, Bi-Lo's senior director of produce.

      He said Bi-Lo plans to continue fund raising for Katie's Krops.

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