After fourth-graders read the story of Katie Stagliano in the September/October issue of Let’s Talk Trash- News!, they were inspired to help feed those in need in South Cheatham County.
After meeting together and coming up with a plan, the students went to Principal Joy Bauman’s office to pitch their idea.
The students launched “Fourth Grade Feeds” to collect non-perishable food items for The Ark Community Resource Center, which provides social services for residents in South Cheatham County.
As part of the project, the students made signs, placed boxes around the school for donations and spoke at the Honor’s Pep Rally to parents and students.
“We were reading about Katie, and we figured out there were people in this community who really need help,” said fourth-grader Kylie Holliday. “We were thinking if we had extra food then we could give it to them so they can survive and we would have better people in the community.”
Bauman said she is proud of her students’ desire to serve the community.
“They have such huge and giving hearts. We are thankful that they want to make a difference in our community,” she said.
The students started the “Fourth Grade Feeds” program in October, and the food drive has been a huge success. As of late November, more than 230 food items have been collected.
“We want to thank Let’s Talk Trash-News! for sharing Katie’s story, and due to the hearts of our students, many families will be helped in our community,” Bauman said.
In 2008, when Katie was nine she brought home a tiny cabbage seedling as part of the Bonnie Plants program.
As she cared for her cabbage, it grew to 40 pounds and she donated her cabbage to a soup kitchen, where it helped to feed more than 275 people.
Moved by the experience of seeing how many people could benefit from the donation of fresh produce to soup kitchens, Katie decided to start vegetable gardens and donate the harvest to help feed people in need.
Today, Katie’s Krops donates thousands of pounds of fresh produce from numerous gardens to organizations that help people in need.
The Let’s Talk Trash! newspaper is distributed to all Cheatham County schools grades K-8. It is an educational initiative to promote litter awareness. The publication is made possible thanks to the support of Cheatham County Mayor David McCullough, the Tennessee Department of Transportation Stop Litter program and a number of Cheatham County businesses. The November/December issue of Let's Talk Trash is available now in multiple locations around the county. It features an interview with Cheatham County Sheriff Mike Breedlove by students.