The Portage School Divisions' food programs will have full shelves for the foreseeable future after hundreds of people and many local businesses stepped up to help stock the shelves. 

The annual day-long event, Brake for Breakfast, was held Thursday in the parking lot of Sobey's, and it was a steady flow of people all day long. Ernie Schwaluk was the first donor of the day just after 7 a.m. and that set off a flurry of donations right through until 7 p.m. that night. Everyone from Golden West Portage was involved along with many volunteers from the school division. In the end, exactly $5100 in cash was received along with an amazing 3555 boxes of cereal.

It took roughly 15 volunteers to carry the cereal into Ecole Arthur Meighen at the end of the day including Superintendant Todd Cuddington, who described the haul as amazing. Team Olfason, the PCI Boys curling team, also showed up to help carry in the bounty. Finally, just before 9 p.m., the U-Haul from Law's Automotive was once again empty.

Cori Asham of the Portage School Division said the donations are coming at the perfect time as some of the schools were getting very low on cereal and other supplies. She added these donations are an integral part of the programs they offer, which have become a very important part of the school day.

Hourly partners matched cereal donations that came in during their hour while Sobey's matched all cereal donations throughout the day. The event started nine years ago when a couple of hundred boxes of cereal were donated to one local school. It morphed into Breakfast in Bed at Dino's Appliance and Mattress Centre and they continue to be a huge part of the event offering up one of the $1000 grand prizes. The $1000 Sobey's gift card was won by Wendy Saunders of Portage and the Queen Size Sealy mattress from Dino's was won by Kimberly Fingas. The hourly prize winners will also be announced later today.

Hourly partners included Jonair, Rona, Pharmasave, Mayfair Print Shop, Laramee Rentals, McMunn and Yates, Irwin Flooring, Southport Aerospace, Paraclete Transport, MWM Environmental, McDonald's and Laws Automotive.

Sizeable donations came in from places like Stride Credit Union, McCain, TD Bank, Shewfelt's Plumbing and Heating, Simplot, and Century 21 Foxx Realty. In fact, at the end of the day, even after their team donated 236 boxes of cereal, Rhonda Lodwick of Century 21 topped up the cash donations that were fifty dollars short of $5000. She felt it was important to break that number. It's how the day ended with a nice even total.

Thank you Portage la Prairie and surrounding area!

team McDonaldsTeam McDonald's were handing out gift cards to the donors that came in for their hour
all the cerealsome of the volunteers who helped carry all the cereal
new MayorMayor-elect Sharilyn Knox made sure to stop by and donate