Thanks to a charity set up in the name of late Minnesota police shooting victim Philando Castile, none of the 37,000 students in the St. Paul School District who’ve struggled with school lunch debt will have to go without food. That’s because the charity reported this week that it had met its fundraising goal to cover every one of them who’ve had a balance.
According to district rules, students from low-income families may qualify to benefit from the reduced or free lunch program but are barred from reapplying if they are carrying debt from one year to the next.
Seeing how Castile was a beloved cafeteria supervisor at the J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School, a professor by the name of Pamela Fergus and some of her students at Metropolitan State University thought it would be noble to establish the “Philando Feeds the Children” fund to help carry out a deed in honor of who he was to the St. Paul community.
“Philando is STILL reaching into his pocket, and helping a kid out. One by one,” the charity’s page on YouCaring.com read after reaching its goal.
Over 3,400 people have pitched donations since the charity was created. Their offerings have totaled more than $131,000, $35,000 of which was handed to officials at the district’s nutritional program last Tuesday, February 28. Fergus has vowed to ensure that the rest of the money, and any additional money taken in goes towards continuing to settle student lunch debts until the state begins to pick up the tab and guarantee food for all.