Philando Castile’s Legacy Of Helping His Students Pay For Lunch Lives On

Monique Judge, The Root

Philando Castile was known as a caring man at the St. Paul, Minn., school where he worked as a cafeteria supervisor. He cared so much for the children he served that he often paid for their lunches out of his own pocket when they were unable to, and now, thanks to a local college professor, that generosity will continue through a fund that has been created in Castile’s name.


“No child goes hungry so we ensure that every student has breakfast and also lunch whether they can pay or not,” Stacy Koppen, Nutritional Services Director for St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS), told WCCO. “Lunches just for one elementary student are about $400 a year.”

Before Castile was killed last summer by former St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop, he was always ready to help the students who were in need, Koppen told WCCO.

“When a student couldn’t pay for their lunch, a lot of times (Castile) actually paid for their lunch out of his own pocket,” Koppen said.

Inver Hills Community College professor Pam Fergus wants Castile’s generosity and caring for the students to continue.

She told WCCO, “His death changed who I am.”

Fergus normally assigns a service project to the students in her Diversity and Ethics class, but this time she came up with one of her own: Philando Feeds The Children.

The money raised through the fundraiser will be used to help clear lunch debts at J.J. Hill.

As of Thursday night, more than $7,000 had been raised, and Castile’s mother, Valerie, told WCCO and Fergus that she plans to match the full amount raised with her own donation.

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Report: 70 percent of African-American children can’t swim


Study finds minmority swimming gap

Study finds minmority swimming gap

A recent study by the USA Swimming Foundation found that 70 percent of African American and 60 percent of Hispanic children do not know how to swim.

According to the CDC  black children drown a rate three times higher than their white peers.

“We need to address this issue and we need to address it immediately,” said James Morton, President, YMCA of Greater Hartford.

Morton says number of factors contributes the statistics, but the main one is access.

“Access to affordable   swim lessons that are conveniently located within communities is the real challenge,” he said.

Morton says the lack of public pools in inner city areas that is now creating a generation of minority children with little to no water safety education.

He says that there is a trend  in cities where the pools are shut down and instead  install sprinkler  systems  and water parks  that  provide  cooling for children ,but do not provide  swim lessons or water safety lessons.

Morton is now making it his mission to open more pools in areas where minority children do not have access.

Minority Children Going Hungry During Summer Months

From the

Many minority children go hungry during the summer

Many minority children go hungry during the summer

Lack of access to healthy meals during summer months is, ironically, causing two separate health issues among minority children: hunger and obesity.

Statistics from the Food Research and Action Center show that 32 percent of

black households with children were food insecure in 2010, almost 12 percent higher than the national average.

This research indicates that food insecurity — when families do not know if they will have enough food to eat — is also to blame for the rises in obesity and hunger.

Another FRAC report explains that hunger, caused by a lack of sufficient healthy foods, and obesity, due to unhealthy eating and bad exercise habits, are the result of low incomes and a lack of access to nutritious foods.

The two problems can co-exist due to poverty, experts say. And, during the summer when many low-income parents can hardly afford camps, many minority children are left inactive and eating poorly.

Low-income parents may also experience what FRAC calls cycles of food deprivation and overeating — essentially skipping meals to stretch budgets, and overeating whenever they do eat.

Education experts have dealt with this phenomenon for many years, of how to overcome the lack of access to food and physical activity once school is out. Adequate nutrition is fundamental for brain development and improves a child’s cognitive functioning, which helps improve grades during the school year, they say.