Philando Feeds the Children is a charity formed in late 2017 in the name of Philando Castile, a black man who was shot and killed in 2016 by officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop in Minnesota, with his partner and child in the car. Castile worked as a nutrition services supervisor at a local school, and the charity was formed to carry on his history of paying for kids who couldn’t afford lunch.
CNN reports that the fund is run by Metro State University educator Pam Fergus and some of her students. She announced on February 26 on the charity’s fundraising page that the money raised has wiped out debt for school lunches in 56 schools in Minnesota’s St. Paul Public Schools district:
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. With your help.
Fergus explained to CNN the importance of wiping out this debt, saying that parents are prohibited from applying for need-based, reduced-price lunches when they owe money, so they continue to accrue it. She added that some families owe as much as $1,000 for school lunches. The fund had an original goal of making $5,000, but now has received more than $150,000 in donations. Fergus wants the fund to keep expanding, and to share a beautiful memory of how Castile was in life, rather than his violent death.
“I don’t know how much it would take to help the whole state of Minnesota,” Fergus said. “There is no end goal. Basically, I want a million bucks in there.”