• MLK Community Center

Believe it or not, the holidays are almost here

Updated: Dec 1, 2020



Can you believe it? The holiday season is almost upon us.

5 days left to register for Thanksgiving food pantry 13 days until Thanksgiving food distribution begins 15 days left to register for Holiday food pantry & Santa's Workshop 21 days until Thanksgiving day

2020 has been a long and stressful year for everyone. It's hard to think about the coming holidays, but we're committed to offering our holiday programs again this year, despite modifications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you need help for the very first time this year, we have you covered. And, if you want to make a difference this holiday season, your support goes directly to Newport County families.

Need Holiday Help?

As a reminder, the last day to register for our Thanksgiving food distribution is this coming Tuesday, November 10th! Please visit our website to register (you will need to provide your photo ID, proof of household, and proof of address), or contact Dezarae for an in-person or phone appointment ASAP: email or call (401) 846-4828 x118.

At the same time, you can register for our Holiday food distribution and/or Santa's Workshop, as the deadline to register is also right around the corner (Friday, November 20th). That can all be done on our website, too, or when you speak with Dezarae.

Want to Give Holiday Help?

Given how early this year's holiday food distributions are and how early Santa's Workshop is, we need donations much earlier: by November 30th. Our most needed items are: retail gift cards in $25 increments (for Santa's Workshop) and Stop & Shop or Shaw's supermarket gift cards (in $10 or $20 increments, for Holiday food pantry). A detailed list of donation needs is available here.

Cash donations for Holiday Help sustain these programs. Just visit our website, hit “Donate,” and select the Holiday Help program you wish to contribute to from the Optional drop-down menu. Or, mail checks to the Center: 20 Dr. Marcus Wheatland Blvd, Newport, RI 02840. Thank you.

Learn More or Register for Holiday Help


This past Tuesday was Election Day at the MLK, too! Our older Preschoolers learned about the importance of voting and cast their ballots for President (for a day).

"FREDERICK DOUGLASS IN NEWPORT" presented by Dr. John Rice

Register at for this free educational online event, coming up on Tuesday, November 19th.

Frederick Douglass arrived in Newport as a fugitive slave as early as 1838. Time and again, he would return to Newport from his home in New Bedford and stay with the Rices at 23 Thomas Street, a station on the Underground Railroad, while giving lectures throughout Rhode Island. John Rice shares the thrilling story of his family's special friendship with Douglass, reveals a recently discovered letter from him, and connects us to the unique legacy of an African American family living in the same house for more than 200 years. He will also explore Douglass' association with the nation's premier Black caterer and civil rights activist, Newport's George T. Downing.

John Rice, the great great grandson of Newport's Isaac Rice, is an Engineering Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

This virtual lecture is presented virtually by the Redwood Library & Athenaeum in partnership with Stages of Freedom as part of a three-day event, "Frederick Douglass in Rhode Island," funded by the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities. For more information, please visit


Stop by the MLK Community Center on Monday, November 9th from 4:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. for a delicious grab 'n go dinner in collaboration with McGrath Clambakes and Catering. This meal is COMPLETELY FREE OF CHARGE. Menu TBD but is sure to be delicious! Facebook event

Attendees are reminded to please social distance and remain 6 feet apart in line. Attendees must wear a face covering, and eating on-site is not permitted.


Next Friday, November 13th's Mobile Food Pantry sponsor

Thanks to our generous Mobile Food Pantry sponsors, the MLK's Mobile Food Pantry brings non-perishable food, fresh produce, milk, meat, and eggs into Newport County communities where transportation is often a barrier.

Our sponsor for Friday, November 13th's Mobile Food Pantry at Bayside Village in Newport (3:30 - 5:00 p.m.) is UnitedHealthcare.

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 800,000 physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. 

Thank you for being a community champion, UnitedHealthcare!

Support Newport County, Give to the MLK


  • Grab-n-Go Breakfast Mon-Fri, 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. (Marcus Wheatland Blvd entrance)

  • Food 2 Friends delivery for homebound seniors. Contact Ed for more info

  • Mobile Food Pantry visits to low-income housing communities

  • Preschool for registered preschool students. Openings currently available for 3 year olds. Contact Tanya by email or by phone: (401) 846-4828 x117

  • After School program for registered students

  • Daily Bread: Mon-Fri at the Marcus Wheatland Blvd entrance

  • On-site food pantry: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Wednesday evenings from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. First Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

  • Veggie Days weekly vegetable distribution outside, Thursdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or while supplies last. Now year-round! Veggie Days will be 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. beginning November 1st

  • LivFit Cooking & Nutrition class Tuesday & Thursday at 5 p.m. Class is socially distanced and masks are required. Call or text Kristin to attend: (401) 368-7614

  • Grab 'n Go lunches: Tues. Nov. 3rd, & Tues. Nov. 17th from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free! Presented in collaboration with McGrath's Clambakes. Menu TBD. Eating on-site not permitted

  • Grab 'n Go Community dinner: Monday, November 9th from 4 p.m. - 4:45 p.m., enjoy a free delicious grab 'n go dinner, presented in collaboration with McGrath's Clambakes. Menu TBD. Eating on-site not permitted.

  • Shape Up! Fitness class with Debra: Held every Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. Free. This full-body workout aims to improve balance, bone health, flexibility, and strength of participants in a safe, welcoming, and fun environment. RSVP with Mel by email or phone: (401) 846-4828 x124

  • Zumba Fitness class: Join us Thursday mornings at 8:30 a.m. for [socially-distanced] Zumba, suitable for all skill levels. Space is limited & RSVP required: email or call Mel to reserve your spot. (401) 846-4828 x124.

  • Stepping Stones mentoring program: Start your journey to food security and overcome the obstacles that might stand in your way with the help of Client Support Specialist, Dezarae. This one-on-one mentoring program is open to any Newport County resident willing to meet (virtually or in-person) twice per month for at least six months, aged 18+, who is struggling with food insecurity. Contact Dezarae via email or call (401) 846-4828 x118

  • Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, presented by the Bazarsky Family Foundation in partnership with the MLK Community Center, puts books into the hands and hearts of children across the world. They partner with local communities to mail a hand-selected, age-appropriate, high-quality book each month to registered children from birth to age five, completely free of cost & regardless of family income. More info

  • Holiday Help: Registration is open! Contact Dezarae by email or by phone: (401) 846-4828 x118 or register online. Due to limits on gathering, no drop-in registrations permitted this year. Thanksgiving registration deadline: Nov. 10th. Holiday pantry & Santa's Workshop deadline: Nov 20th

  • Donations: Donations of non-perishable food, fresh produce, household items, and personal care items are accepted at our loading dock Mon-Fri 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Please ring the bell upon arrival. Masks required to donate. A list of our urgent needs available here

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center

(401) 846-4828