St. Louis Mother Makes Free Meals for Dozens of Kids Daily

A mother from St. Louis, Missouri is giving back to her community by feeding hundreds of kids.

Champale Anderson, a health care provider and a mother of six, feeds hundreds of children by making snack bags for kids in her community. She has been doing this for five years, KTVI-TV reported.

Anderson, 48, told Good Morning America that she noticed that some of her kids’ friends were hungry when they visited her house. She also claims to have noticed kids at nearby gas stations asking for change, and Anderson wanted to help them. After she finishes her shift at work at around 12:30 p.m., she runs home to set up her food table, called Champ’s Teardrops, and makes sandwich bags for the kids. Inside the bags are sandwiches, fruit, cookies, juice, or vegetables, according to KTVI-TV.

"Those kids are waiting on me. I have to be out there because they are so excited," she told GMA. "They don’t know what’s going to be in the bags so they get off the bus and take off running."

Anderson told GMA that she serves turkey or ham sandwiches when she can afford the meat, but she always has bologna sandwiches for kids who have nut allergies. She claims her favorite sandwich to make for the children is peanut butter and jelly.

"I don’t just put on the peanut butter and then the jelly," she told GMA. "I mix it up with love and they love those sandwiches."

The St. Louis mother told KTVI-TV that she keeps an open-door policy on school days for children in the community to knock on her door before or after school and receive a snack bag for breakfast and lunch. Anderson told GMA that sometimes children return long after school hours, and still, she always gives them a bag.

“Sometimes kids get a bag and come back to my house around 7 p.m. because that may be the only meal they have during the day," Anderson said. "They ask for another bag and I say, ‘Of course.’"

Anderson recently started a GoFundMe fundraiser page to raise money to continue feeding the kids in her community. Nearby residents told WDAF-TV that she makes about 100 school lunch bags a day. As of September 16, the campaign has raised over $56,000.

“I'm just trying to help the kids that don't have enough at home or just hungry after school. I been doing this out my own money and [I'm] just reaching out,” the description on the GoFundMe page reads. “Please help these kids out.”

In April, the mother of Philando Castile donated $8,000 to a high school in Minnesota to help settle students’ lunch debt. Valerie Castile made a donation to Robbinsdale Cooper High School in New Hope, Minnesota. Before students can graduate, they must pay their meal balances, WCCO previously reported.

“We are so grateful for this donation and the generosity of the Philando Castile Feeds the Children campaign,” Adele Lillie, Robbinsdale Area Schools nutrition director, said in a previous statement. “The impact of this donation will reach many students and allow families to focus on celebrating the seniors’ upcoming graduation.”

Castile’s son was killed during a traffic stop in July 2016 by former St. Anthony Police Department officer Jeronimo Yanez. Philando’s girlfriend live-streamed the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook Live, The Guardian previously reported. News of the shooting went viral. Philando had spent over 15 years of his life working in the St. Paul school district as a cafeteria supervisor. His mother told WCCO he would always go out of his way to help a hungry child.

“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 told the news station.

Following his death, Castile launched the Philando Castile Relief Foundation, which continues to financially help students who are unable to pay for lunches.

“The Foundation is designed by all the things Philando held dear to his heart: children, family and the community,” Castile said in a statement. “The Philando Castile Relief Foundation always cares. Philando was an awesome person and he is truly missed.”

About the Author

Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.