Philando Castile foundation donates $8,000 to Cooper High School to pay off school lunch debt

Philando's mother, Valerie Castile, presented the donation Thursday.
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Years after his death, Philando Castile's mother is carrying on his legacy of helping students.

Valerie Castile presented $8,000 to the Robbinsdale School District Thursday to pay off lunch debt at Cooper High School. The money came from the Philando Castile Relief Association, created in the wake of his death.

Valerie Castile wrote on Facebook she continues to "honor the life and legacy of a beautiful spirit."

Thursday's gift will be applied to seniors at Cooper High School who quality for the free and reduced lunch program.

Adele Lillie, Robbinsdale Area Schools nutrition director, said the school is "so grateful for this donation and the generosity of the Philando Castile Feeds the Children campaign.”

She added: "The impact of this donation will reach many students and allow families to focus on celebrating the seniors’ upcoming graduation."

Philando Castile was a nutrition services supervisor at J.J. Hill Montessori at the time of his death, and beloved by students and colleagues for his generosity. He was known to sometimes pay for students' lunches out of his own pocket when their family struggled to afford the cost.

After his death, a campaign held in his honor raised $106,000 to pay off student lunch debt across St. Paul. Valerie Castile has promised to use the Philando Castile Relief Fund to continue addressing that problem, as well as helping families who have lost loved ones to gun violence.

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