Last year, a Minnesota cop was found not guilty of manslaughter after he fatally shot Philando Castile during a 2016 traffic stop while he reached for his wallet. This verdict led to even more sadness from a community still reeling from the senseless death of a beloved school nutrition supervisor — one who was so devoted to his students that he memorized 500 different names and allergies to correspond with every pupil.
The tragic circumstances of Castile’s death were deeply felt by those children, parents, and teachers who were personally touched by his actions, and widespread stories revealed how Castile often reached into his own pockets to pay for meals of students whose families couldn’t afford to pay off their overdue lunch debt. A YouCaring initiative called Philando Feeds the Children is now bringing that same gift to thousands of children in Minnesota’s St. Paul Public School district, according to the charity’s donation page:
“That means that no parent of the 37,000 kids who eat meals at school need worry about how to pay that overdue debt. Philando is STILL reaching into his pocket, and helping a kid out. One by one.”
In other words, Castile’s spirit lives on and will continue his benevolent mission in an extended capacity, thanks to coordinating efforts by Professor Pam Fergus (of Metro State University in Minneapolis). Fergus told CNN that the fund recently delivered a $35,000 check that has cleared debt from students of 56 St. Paul schools. To date, the charity has raised $152,597 after posting an initial goal of $5,000. Fergus hopes that the trend will endure and that no child will ever have to suffer from the “embarrassment” of “lunch-shaming” again. It’s an aspiration that Castile would no doubt applaud.
Visit the Philando Feeds The Children page here.