• MLK Community Center

Annnnnnd... THAT'S A WRAP (We hope!)

Updated: Sep 21, 2020


Friday, July 31th, 2020

Annnnnnd... THAT'S A WRAP (We hope!)

It's the end of food pantry bags and the return of the shopping carts.

After 20 long weeks of distributing prebagged groceries, we're moving to the "next normal" in the MLK Community Center's Food Pantry. Starting this coming Monday, August 3rd, clients can once again fill up a shopping cart each month and choose the foods they need and prefer rather than accepting two bags of preselected groceries, produce, and meat. Remember: to be as safe as possible, clients must wear a mask at all times, shop at a brisk pace, and bring their own bags. No more than 2 clients will be allowed in the Center at a time. The pantry will be open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 am - 2 pm and Wednesdays from 4 pm - 6 pm. (Once-a-month Saturday pantry hours resume September 5th.)

Since mid March, we have distributed food to 3,433 people, which is more than 80% of the people we served in all of that's A LOT of bags. Thank you to the generous funders and donors who have made it possible for people across Newport County to find help at the MLK. Choice in the pantry means clients receive larger amounts of food just as federal unemployment benefits are due to run out. The need for your support is still so important. Please stay tuned for a very special matching campaign coming soon, in early August!


Above: Campers pose with their Certificates of Heroism after pledging to preserve our marine wildlife.

This week at the MLK Community Center’s Summer Adventure camp, math, science, and literacy lessons centered around marine biology. Campers learned about preserving our oceans and waterways and made personal pledges to reduce their waste. They also wrote letters to Newport's Major Jamie Bova asking her to support initiatives to preserve our ocean. Students' in-classroom lessons in marine biology tied in perfectly with field trips to Sail Newport and the beach at Fort Adams: campers used new vocabulary words and made scientific observations about marine life as they explored our shoreline. Campers also enjoyed a special visit from the Rhode Island Audubon Society (who brought an owl for campers to observe!), Movement & Mindfulness sessions, made homemade waffles topped with fruit in cooking class, played ocean-themed games, and continued working toward their academic and personal goals in their journals.

Above: The Certificates of Heroism that campers received after pledging to preserve our planet.

Right: The Rhode Island Audubon Society visited campers and brought along a special friend: a Barred Owl!


The MLK Community Center is distributing senior farmers’ market coupon books once again this season. As a part of DEM’s Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, the coupon books contain three $5 coupons (a $15 value), valid at most state farmers’ markets and can be put toward the purchase of most produce as well as honey.

While supplies last, Rhode Island resident seniors ages 60+ who meet the income requirements can pick up one booklet per season (June 1st - October 31st). Coupon books are available at the MLK Center, at our Mobile Food Pantry sites, and at other community organizations around the state.


We're looking for volunteers to serve as food pantry guides Wednesday evening (4 pm-6 pm) and Saturday morning (first Saturday of each month, 10 am - 12 pm). Knowledge of Spanish preferred. ️ Interested? Please contact Nancy Harten: or (401) 846-4828 x103.

HERE TO HELP As a reminder, we remain open to provide:

  • Grab-n-Go Breakfast every weekday, 7:30 - 8:30 (Marcus Wheatland Blvd. entrance)

  • Food 2 Friends delivery for homebound seniors

  • Mobile Food Pantry visits to low-income housing communities

  • Preschool for registered preschool students

  • Daily Bread: Available at the Marcus Wheatland Blvd entrance weekdays from 10 am - 4 pm.

  • On-site food pantry. Beginning August 3rd: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Wednesday evenings from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

  • Veggie Days weekly vegetable distribution outside, Thursdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or while supplies last

  • Summer Camp for registered summer campers

  • Grab 'n Go lunches: Tuesday, August 4th and Tuesday, August 18th from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free! Presented in collaboration with McGrath's Clambakes. Menu TBD. Eating on-site not permitted.

  • Senior farmers market coupon booklets are available to pickup at the MLK. While supplies last, Rhode Island residents seniors ages 60+ who meet the income requirements can pick up one booklet per season.

Support Newport County, Support the MLK

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