NORTH PORT — Students at Atwater Elementary School will be enjoying some free breakfast as summer approaches.

Residents of Gran Paradiso donated 566 boxes of cereal to the North Port elementary school’s food bank last week.

The collection, organized by Kevin and Judy Shaughnessy, was sparked when they learned the food bank had zero boxes of cereal recently.

“School is going to be out soon, and we had to do something for the kids,” Kevin Shaughnessy said. The last day of the school year is Friday for students in Sarasota County schools.

The day after Memorial Day, the Shaughnessys along with their son-in-law Kevin Wright, loaded up an SUV and a car with bags and boxes of cereal and delivered them to the school.


Sue Lord, who keeps the food bank running, met them at the front of the school with four fifth-grade girls who volunteered to help unload the cereal and carry it to the food bank room where they would help organize the items.

Jaylyn Mendenhall, Ariana Siska, Andrea Roman and Arianna Dornevil helped form an assembly line, and all the food was removed from the vehicles within 20 minutes.

Lord hosts regular distribution events throughout the year, and the last one was June 3.

“Thanks to this donation, we might have enough for every kid in the school,” Lord said. “That is our goal.”

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