His Dedication To Students Lives On With These Free School Meals

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Zain Murdock
March 29, 2023

On March 17, 2023, Governor Tim Walz signed a bill providing free breakfast and lunch to every child in Minnesota schools. And Valerie Castile, mother of Philando Castile, was there to watch the Senate vote. 

Her son, though remembered for his death at the hands of police, was a beloved advocate for free school lunch while he was alive.

Castile worked as a cafeteria supervisor and ensured students could eat even if they didn’t have the money. In honor of him, Valerie created the Philando Castile Relief Foundation, which helps families affected by gun violence, and also raised $200,000 to pay off student lunch debt. 

But this is bigger than lunch.

School meals critically affect student performance. Many students who can’t eat come from low-income families. And a major element of the school-to-prison pipeline is poverty. It’s all connected - even to our history.

Programs like the Black Panther’s Free Breakfast For School Children left a huge legacy for us. And even before then, Black people have always shared resources to survive through mutual aid.

Philando Castile hasn’t received justice yet for police violence. But his mother helped achieve another form of justice for him in his memory, and that’s a victory. 

Do you have free breakfasts and lunches where you are? If you don’t, why not join the fight?