“I know that pennies in to the MLK come out as dollars, as hungry people fed and as children who go to kindergarten with the skills to be ready to learn and a strong educational foundation.”

MLK Donor

Founded in 1922 and renamed honoring Dr. King in 1968, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center is a central service provider for at-risk individuals, families, and seniors. An independent nonprofit, the MLK Community Center fights hunger, promotes health, educates young and school-aged kids, supports families, and engages seniors.


The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center nourishes, educates, and supports Newport County, Rhode Island residents to improve their economic and social well-being.


We build a strong and united community where all people are empowered to be self-reliant and to live their best quality of life.


Programs encompass three areas:

  • Hunger Prevention and Nutrition

  • Early Childhood and Extended Learning Time Education

  • Community Support Programs



Agency goals are to:

  • Reduce hunger through our food pantry, daily meal program, and home food delivery. 

  • Increase health through agency-wide access to a Registered Dietitian, nutrition education, fitness and wellness programming, and other engaging programs.

  • Offer high-performing educational programs for children while holistically supporting the needs of their parents and families.  






  • We run high-quality programs, seeking out best practices.

  • We are flexible and creative in addressing the needs of our clients.

Respect and Compassion

  • Each of us treats people – those we serve, those we work with, and those who support us – fairly and equitably,  with compassion and without judgment based on their circumstances.

Wise Stewardship

  • We take care of our resources, which include our legacy, our people, and our physical and financial resources.

  • We make decisions responsibly, with honesty and integrity, and in the long term best interests of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center and its mission.


  • We are committed to partnerships with other organizations to help better serve those in the greatest need and to strengthen us as an organization.

  • We collaborate internally.

  • We encourage volunteers to participate in our work.


  • We believe that education breaks the cycle of hopelessness and will help both children and adults have a greater chance of living fulfilling lives.

  • The safety of our children is of the utmost priority.

  • We believe educational success is created in a nurturing environment.


  • All people have the right to determine their future: therefore, we encourage and support our clients to make choices that will improve their health and well-being.

Client testimonial

"My experiences at the MLK Community Center have given me emotional stability. I know, I really know, it will be okay.  I've gotten stronger because of the support I've received from the Center."

"The MLK Community Center was there when I lost my job and helped me feed my family. I am once again employed and thankful for the MLK."