Katie Stagliano and her 40-lb cabbage, which she donated her the local soup kitchen

Jesse Roesler

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This 14-Year-Old's Homework Assignment Sparked A Mission to Feed America's Hungry

The result? Katie's Krops, a collection of student-run gardens that feed the hungry.

When she was in the third grade, Katie Stagliano received a homework assignment that changed her life: To grow a cabbage from a single seedling. Hers grew to about 40 pounds. She took the cabbage to the local soup kitchen, where it was served with ham and rice to around 275 people.

“When I looked at the people in line I thought ‘wow, they’re just like my family,'” Katie says of her experience handing out food that day. “For all I know, they could have been my family who had fallen on hard times.” Six years later, Katie’s Krops supports 75 youth-run gardens in 27 states and has raised over $200,000.

Watch Katie’s remarkable story here, and check out the feature film The Starfish Throwers where she is featured alongside two others whose individual efforts to feed the poor are igniting a movement in the fight against hunger.

We’re partnering with NBCUniversal to support the greatest innovators who are tackling some of the nation’s most critical issues. Tell us who you think the next biggest changemaker in America is by nominating them to be a 2015 NationSwell AllStar.

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There are 75 youth-run gardens in 27 states. Katie's new goal is 500 gardens in 50 states. And you can help her reach it. Click the "contribute" button to see what your dollars will go toward. You can help provide grants so that children can set up gardens of their own or simply sign up as a supporter and spread the word.

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Jacob Templin is the director of video for NationSwell.