By Erin Hassanzadeh

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It has been nearly three years since Philando Castile was shot and killed by a St. Anthony police officer. Long before that, Philando was known as a beloved cafeteria supervisor at a St. Paul school.

His family carried on his legacy Thursday with a donation that will wipe away the worries of countless students and their families.

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For many of the seniors at Robbinsdale Cooper High School, paying off their lunch money balance is difficult.

“The unpaid bills is over $300,000 now in our district and we also see this through the state,” said Carlton Jenkins, superintendent of Robbinsdale Area Schools.

But Philando’s mother, Valerie Castile wants to change that for some students in her son’s honor. Castile presented a check for $8,000 to Robbinsdale Cooper High School Thursday from the Philando Castile Relief Foundation to clear the lunch debts of all senior students.

“This is something that Philando held near and dear to his heart,” Valerie Castile said.

Castile says it’s something her son would want because it’s something he did for students as a cafeteria supervisor at a St. Paul school.

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“He’d pay for children’s lunch meals out of his own pocket instead of letting a child go hungry that day he would pay for it himself,” Castile said.

This isn’t the first donation Castile has given in Philando’s name. Castile also donated $10,000 on behalf of her son’s foundation to the school where Philando worked as a cafeteria supervisor and was known affectionately by students as Mr. Phil.

“As long as we can help, we will,” Castile said.

“For those students to know that they can graduate now without having a bill, I can’t tell you how big it is,” Jenkins said.

“It feels really, really good because I know he’s watching us,” Castile said.

To donate or request assistance, visit the Philando Castile Foundation website.

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You can also go to any Wells Fargo and say you would like to donate to the Philando Castile Relief Foundation.

Erin Hassanzadeh