Philando Castile, Killed By Police, Once Paid For Kids' Lunches. Today, His Work Continues.

"A lot of times [Castile] actually paid for their lunch out of his own pocket."

A fund named after Philando Castile will help buy lunches for children in need, keeping his legacy alive through a good deed he was known to perform himself.

Castile was shot and killed in 2016 after being pulled over for a broken tail light. His girlfriend infamously live streamed his final moments as he bled to death in the passenger seat of their car, sparking outrage across the country at another incident of police violence against African Americans.

Before his death, though, Castile was a nutrition services supervisor at J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School in St. Paul, Minnesota, where local reports say he was adored by children at the school. Those same children, on many days, would receive lunch from Castille.

"When a student couldn't pay for their lunch, a lot of times [Castile] actually paid for their lunch out of his own pocket," Stacy Koppen, nutritional services director for St. Paul Public Schools, told local CBS affiliate WCCO


The fund was started by Inver Hills Community College professor Pam Fergus, who was trying to help students at J.J. Hill pay off their lunch debts. She named the fund "Philando Feeds The Children."

"His death changed who I am," Fergus told the news station. 

Twitter users echoed her words online while encouraging their followers to take part in the fund. "His death changed us. Let's all donate," wrote singer-songwriter Andrea Pizziconi.

The goal was originally $5,000, but after $3,500 came in Fergus doubled it to $10,000. So far, they've already raised over $47,000. Castile's death rocked the school, which has a diverse makeup — 47 percent of the kids are Asian, black or Hispanic, according to HuffPost. Valerie Castile, Philando's mother, said that she would match the final total of the fundraiser. 

Since his death, she has become an outspoken activist against police violence, founding the Philando Castile Relief Foundation.

"She said the only thing I want for my son is for people to remember him with honor and dignity," Fergus said.

Cover photo: Shutterstock / a katz


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