• MLK Community Center

1st in NE App Connects Your Garden to the MLK 📱➕🍅


Friday, July 9, 2021


Schedule produce pickups through the Fresh Food Connect app

Attention, all MLK Grow a Row gardeners! And, attention to those among us eyeing our now-green tomatoes & wondering "...Is there any way my family can possibly eat all of these?" If you're someone who has been participating in our Grow a Row program or if you just happen to find your garden is a little too productive after all this rain, we wanted to make it even more convenient to share your garden's bounty with your Newport County neighbors. Introducing the Fresh Food Connect app, for iOS and Android.

Once your eggplants are plump and your vines bursting with beans, pull up the Fresh Food Connect app, estimate how many pounds you're willing to spare, and, if you live in Newport County, schedule a convenient produce pickup right from your doorstep. One of our amazing MLK volunteer couriers will stop by your home within the designated timeframe and grab your homegrown goodness from the designated pickup area at your home - completely contactless. If you don't live in Newport County or if you don't need to arrange a pickup, you're still able to download the Fresh Food Connect app to track your produce donation progress, and schedule a time for you to drop off your produce.

This is the first year we're piloting this nation-wideFresh Food Connectprogram, and we are the only organization using this platform in New England.We'd love to show the country how many generous green thumbs are in lil Rhody!And, we may or may not soon have a special gift for all of our Grow a Row gardens, too, so please get in touch with us if you've been Growing a Row (either via registering as a Gardener on the app, or via email)! Plus, who doesn’t want one less errand to run!?

Check out the Fresh Food Connect FAQs to learn more about the simple registration process. Contact Ed with any questions, and/or to just let him know that you’re participating in Grow a Row so we can get you your garden swag: email or call (401) 846-4828 x119.


It's hard to believe July is in full-swing! Our second Live from the [Loading] Dock concert is right around the corner, this Wednesday, July 14th from 4:30 pm - 6 pm. Thanks to a collaboration with Common Fence Music, the Robertico Arias Percussion Ensemble will perform, and a cookout-style meal will be served. Arias, a Dominican Republic native, is a talented musician and master percussionist. Wednesday's concert is sure to be a blast! While we're hoping for sunshine so we can enjoy the performance outdoors, this event will be rain or shine and held indoors if weather forecasts dictate. Bring along the whole family, and if it's sunny, bring your blankets and/or lawn chairs. This event is made possible through the generosity of event sponsors Caleb & Broad and Point Wine & Spirits. We’ll see you there!


LUNCH & LEARN: This past Tuesday, Becky of Mermaid Masterpieces taught our Lunch & Learn participants that everyone is an artist. Becky led a step-by-step paint workshop with Lunch & Learn participants in which she broke down how to paint a scene of the Newport Bridge on the water. Lunch & Learn, a twice-monthly free program at the MLK, offers a healthy meal, fun activities, information & resources, and fellowship for older adults. On Tuesday, folks enjoyed a yummy meal of whole grain pasta salad and, with Becky's lively instruction and thanks to generous support from our friend Sue Klau, tried their hand at acrylic painting. A blast was had by all. Thank you, Mermaid Masterpieces!

SUMMER CAMP:Although it was a short week with the Monday holiday, Summer Adventure Camp at the MLK was jam packed with activities! This week, lessons and activities centered around marine biology. Students enjoyed lessons in literacy, mathematics, and art, trips to the beach, a trip to the Naval Undersea War College, the 'Movement & Mindfulness' and 'Peaceful Warriors' programs, both Powered by Prince, and their last activity of the week: percussion workshop "Think Outside the Drum" with Third Coast Percussion, presented by the Newport Music Festival (photos to come!). Summer Camp is made possible thanks to the generous support from people from across the community and funders like United Way of Rhode Island/Women United.

TODAY'S VENUE CHANGE: Today's Newport Music Festival community concert with Third Coast Percussion, originally scheduled to be held on the basketball court behind the MLK Center, will relocate to the Great Friends Meeting House (21 Farewell St, Newport) due to today’s storm.

Please check your email for additional information - ticket holders will be notified via email of any changes.

If this change of venue impacts your attendance plans, please email the Box Office:

Pictured: Alyson Novick, Director of Development at the MLK Community Center, stops for a smile upon receiving the $1,250 grant check from Lucy Kinsley, Lenny Bucci, and Christine Stevenson of the Newport Elks.

THANK YOU, NEWPORT ELKS: Our friends at the Newport Elks #104 recently applied for and received a Gratitude Grant from the Elks National Foundation. The Newport Elks #104 generously decided to split these funds to benefit both the MLK Community Center and the Salvation Army. Longtime friends of the Center, we remain humbled by the Newport Elks' ongoing support.

ISLAND CARPET REMNANTS SALE: Our friends at Island Carpet Tile & Hardwoods are always coming up with creative ways to support the Center! From now until the end of July, stop by their store in Middletown and shop amazing deals on carpet remnants. Every dollar goes directly to the Center! Is there anything better than a great deal, while supporting local business AND a local nonprofit!?

EILEEN ON THAMES' CHALK FOR CHARITY: Have you heard about Eileen on Thames' Chalk for Charity initiative? Eileen 'chalks' her artistic abilities up to spending hours in her driveway as a kid, drawing with chalk. Inspired by this and a desire to increase access to art for all Newport County children, Eileen launched her Chalk for Charity initiative: purchase a pack of chalk from Eileen on Thames and 50% of proceeds will support the MLK Community Center. Check out her website for more.

FOOD PANTRY FEATURE: We Need Cereal of All Types

Summer is officially in full-swing, which means school is out, and many food-insecure families no longer have school meal programs to rely on. In 2018, around 64% of Newport public school students received free or reduced cost meals at school. But that food insecurity does not simply disappear once the school bell rings.

Since children are out of school, our food pantry request for the month of July is assorted cereal. Not only is it a favorite among children, but it's a meal or snack that kids can prepare on their own. A moment from a recent Mobile Food Pantry stuck with us: a 10-year-old boy approached a staff member at a Mobile Food Pantry and asked for just a box of cereal. He was grateful, and could be seen walking back to his home eating it right from the box. Of course kiddos love the sugary stuff, but we ask for a variety of cereal, so there's something for everyone. Whole grain cereals with low-sugar contents are great for adults and kids alike. You're welcome to stop by our loading dock on-site at the Center Monday - Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm to drop off any donations. Thank you!

When you give, the MLK can keep helping. Click here to donate.

HERE TO HELP View all: Google Calendar / Facebook events Volunteers wanted! The MLK is currently seeking Volunteer Cooks to prepare meals for our Breakfast program. You don't have to be a morning person either, you can meal prep in advance! If you're interested in volunteering with us, please fill out an online volunteer application. Online registration is open: You can now register for Zumba, "Toning in '21," Yoga, and Sabores Latinos online! With this system, you can conveniently register, reschedule, and cancel appointments at your convenience. We suggest you make an account for easy account management (after you sign up for your first class, it will prompt you). If you aren't able to register online, you are always able to contact Mel via email or by phone to register: (401) 846-4828. Facebook Groups: We've recently opened two private Facebook groups: one group for Parents & Families of MLK Students, and one group for MLK Community Center Volunteers. Please join the conversation!