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making a difference

Charity founded in memory of Philando Castile reaches goal of wiping out school lunch debt

A charity started to honor the memory of Philando Castile, the Minnesota man killed in an officer-involved shooting in 2016, hit a major milestone last week.

The goal of Philando Feeds the Children was to raise $5,000 to pay off the school lunch debts at JJ Hill Montessori, the school Castile worked at as a nutrition supervisor. The money kept coming in, and the charity was able to drop off a check for more than $100,000 that erases the lunch debt at all 56 public schools in St. Paul. "I feel really amazed by that," Pam Fergus, the charity's founder, told Fox 9. "It's really fun to write a check that doesn't come out of your own account and pays off something so wonderful."

Fergus, a professor at Metro State University, had students in her diversity and ethics class help with the charity. Castile often gave children at his school the money necessary to have a hot meal at lunch, and Metro State student Heather Moenck told Fox 9 she enjoyed "being able to do something that would resonate, have a lasting impact on the kids [Castile] had an impact on," adding, "I think everyone can agree kids need to be fed and that this is important."