Valerie Castile just made life a lot easier for graduating seniors and their families at Robbinsdale Cooper High School near Minneapolis.
Castile's son, Philando Castile, was shot and killed by a police officer almost three years ago. He was a well-liked cafeteria supervisor at J.H. Hill Montessori School in St. Paul, always staying on top of food allergies and going out of his way to make sure every child ate lunch. "He'd pay for children's lunch meals out of his own pocket instead of letting a child go hungry that day," Valerie Castile told CBS Minnesota.
Castile runs a charity in her son's honor, the Philando Castile Relief Foundation, and last week, the charity donated $8,000 to cover the lunch debts owed by seniors at Robbinsdale Cooper High School. Students can't graduate if they have outstanding lunch debts, and many were struggling to come up with a way to pay. "For those students to know that they can graduate now without having a bill, I can't tell you how big it is," Robbinsdale Area Schools Superintendent Carlton Jenkins said.
Lunch debts total $300,000 in the district, and it's an issue across the state, Jenkins said. The foundation is doing its part to eliminate bills, and it also recently donated $10,000 to the school where Philando worked. "This is something that Philando held near and dear to his heart," his mother said.