Philando Castile's legacy as a man who helped children lives on through the work of a charity in his name.
The charity, Philando Feeds the Children, has raised enough funds to completely eliminate the debt of every student at all 56 schools in Minnesota's St. Paul Public Schools.
"That means that no parent of the 37,000 kids who eat meals at school need worry about how to pay that overdue debt," according to a post at the YouCaring fundraising page Philando Feeds the Children. "Philando is STILL reaching into his pocket, and helping a kid out. One by one."
In 2016, Castile's life was taken by St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop. Live steam video from that July 6 incident captured by Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, showed the horror that he, Reynolds and his 4-year-old daughter lived. Yanez claimed that Castile threatened him because he had a legally owned gun on his person and was acquitted last year of one count of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of intentional discharge of a firearm that endangers safety.
When Castile was school nutrition supervisor, he would go into his own pocket to pay for student's lunches if they did not have the money to do so. Most families in his school district were unable to pay for their child's lunch and some racked up hundreds of dollars of debt.
Pam Fergus, the Metro State University educator who runs the fund with her students, took nearly $35,000 to the district office paying off the large debt.
"They just keep accruing the debt, every day getting (further and further) into debt," she said, adding that some families owed as much as $1,000.
Originally, the campaign goal was set at $5,000 according to CNN. Now, the campaign has raised $136,936 as of this report and donations are steadily pouring in. Fergus said that she ultimately wants to keep the campaign going for as long as possible to make sure there are no hungry children in the district.
"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."