In 2016, Philando Castile was killed in his car by a police officer. While his name might be polarizing, Castile was a school meals supervisor in a school in St. Paul, Minn. who loved his job, the kids, and also happened to be well known for paying for the lunches of kids who could not afford it. (Castile was shot and killed by a police officer during a 2016 traffic stop and the incident was filmed on Facebook Live by his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds. It went on to spark nationwide protests against police brutality. The officer, Jeronimo Yanez, was later found not guilty of manslaughter and other charges.1)
After his death a charity was founded in his memory, Philando Feeds the Children, which to date has paid off the entire school lunch debt for all 56 schools in St. Paul public school system.
“The crowdfunding charity was the idea of Metropolitan State University professor Pamela Fergus, whose aim was to raise $5,000 to wipe out lunch debt for students at J.J. Hill Montessori, where Castile worked.
Fergus approached Castile’s mother, Valerie Castile, about the idea of raising money to pay for students’ lunch debt at J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School in St. Paul.”2
So far, Philando Feeds the Children has raised more than $150,000, with an ultimate goal of $999,999- because the need still exists. If you are able or feel so led, please donate here.