In 2016, African-American school teacher Philando Castile was shot and killed by police during a traffic stop. After he was killed, a charity was started in his honor. As of this week, the charity has paid in full the school lunch debt of 37,000 children, across 56 schools in the St. Paul Public School system.
Castile worked as a nutrition supervisor in the Minnesota school district.
The charity posted, “That means that no parent of the 37,000 kids who eat meals at school need worry about how to pay that overdue debt.”
CNN reported on the $35,000 donation, which covered families whose debts piled as high as $1,000.
“They just keep accruing the debt, every day getting (further and further) into debt,” Metro State University educator Pam Fergus told CNN.
Fergus hopes the campaign, which has raised just under $110,000 so far, could someday help children all across Minnesota.
“I don’t know how much it would take to help the whole state of Minnesota,” Fergus continued, “There is no end goal. Basically, I want a million bucks in there.”
“Philando is STILL reaching into his pocket, and helping a kid out. One by one,” he said, “Across the country, people are discussing ‘lunch-shaming,’ We are discussing the embarrassment a child suffers when parents cannot afford lunch. Your spirit is moving to change that issue.”
Castile’s family received a $3 million settlement from the city of St. Anthony, Minnesota last year over the shooting of Castile the year before.
The police officer, Jeronimo Yanez, was acquitted last year of second-degree manslaughter, as well as two counts of intentionally discharging a firearm under circumstances that endanger the safety of another person.
Castille was known for using his own money to help cover students’ lunch costs when they couldn’t afford food.
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