• MLK Community Center

They're here! Your 2021 Keepers of the Dream! 💛

Updated: Oct 30


Introducing our latest recipients of the 2021 Keeper of the Dream awards

Keeper of the Dream: Jane Timken

In a year filled with many uncertainties and challenges, Jane Timken served as a true beacon of hope for our community when she decided to do something truly special.

While Jane's friendship over the years has been special on its own, she decided that she would do something downright magical–– donate her house to the Center.

While there really aren't enough words to explain just how incredible this gesture was, we have prepared something on behalf of our dear, sweet Jane.

Click here to read our children's book, Because of the House that Jane Gave, in honor of our 2021 Keeper of the Dream herself, Jane Timken.

"I can’t imagine a time when giving to the MLK wasn’t more important or more necessary. I’m sharing this news not so anyone thinks I did a good thing, but so it will inspire others to do good things for the Center.” –– Jane Timken

Keeper of the Dream –– Community Partner: Blount Fine Foods

As we all know by now, 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on all of us in more ways than not. This also rings true to the Center as it continued to service Newport County.

Thanks to the amazing men and women at Blount Fine Foods, the Center was able to not only continue feeding people in need in our community, but offer them delicious, hot meals provided by Blount. During the height of the pandemic, many of our community meal partners had to shutdown, leaving the Center in need of support for its Tuesday and Thursday soup days which help provide a hot meal to those in need.

It was during this time where Blount Fine Foods came to our rescue by donating a whopping 7,238 pounds of soup and food this year–– that's over 3.5 tons! These high-quality products are very popular with our clients, especially the lobster bisque and lasagna soup. (Trust us, it's really good food!)

Blount allowed us the opportunity to continue helping people in Newport County to move from hunger to health. We absolutely couldn't have done it without them.

We'd also like to thank Todd Blount, CEO of Blount Fine Foods, for taking time to speak on behalf of his company during our Keeper of the Dream meeting!

Keeper of the Dream –– Volunteers of the Year: Lois and Bob Zawrotny

We simply can't imagine the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center without "Lois and Bobby Z." Everything we do at the Center is only possible because of our amazing volunteers and that's especially true when it comes to these two rockstars.

Whether it be stocking the food pantry, serving hot breakfast to clients, flipping burgers at concerts or sorting through fresh produce, Lois and Bob can be relied on across the board at the Center. Lois has volunteered in 13 different programs while Bob has volunteered in 11 different programs. Combined, this dynamic duo gave more than 685 hours to the Center during 2020.

Because of Lois and Bob, we now have a brand new volunteer database which has made everyone's life easier and more efficient here at the Center, allowing us to spend more time doing what we do best–– helping people. Beyond assisting us with intricate technology, Lois and Bob remain extremely generous and faithful donors who sustain our critical programs.

Lois and Bob offers wisdom, energy, commitment and a positive vibe that improves each program they touch. We're beyond thrilled to recognize them for this award.

Fill the Fiat at Audrain Auto Museum

Do you have Halloween plans on Sunday afternoon? If not, you're in luck thanks to our friends over at the Audrain Auto Museum! From 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 31st at Fort Adams State Park, Audrain will be accepting donations on behalf of the Center. This link will take you to our webpage where you can learn more about what type of items we are in need of to continue supporting the communities of Newport County. We hope to see you there!

The Newport Sweet Shoppe has cookie kits to-go

From now until October 31st, The Newport Sweet Shoppe will be selling to-go kits for you and your family to decorate Halloween cookies! How fun is that?

Each kit includes 12 delicious, buttery sugar cookies, 3 different frostings and sprinkles for $25.00 per kit.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Center (that's us!) to assist with our ever-growing food pantry needs.

Call (401-619-4600) or email ( for more information.

Free flu shot clinic at the Center

FOOD PANTRY FEATURE: Cranberry sauce, an iconic side-dish

Due to supply chain restraints, cranberry sauce has been especially hard to come by for this holiday season. As our clients celebrate the holiday with their families, we kindly ask that you consider donating canned cranberry sauce to the food pantry in order to continue supporting the community we love.

Support Newport County, Support the MLK

HERE TO HELP View all: Google Calendar / Facebook events Online registration is open: You can now register for Zumba, "Toning in '21," Yoga, Lunch & Learn, 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, 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!

  • Breakfast: Mon - Fri, 7:30 - 8:30 am. Grab & go, or dine-in. (Edward St. entrance)

  • Food Pantry: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 am to 2 pm and Wednesday evenings from 4 pm to 6 pm; first Saturday of each month from 10 - 12 pm.

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

  • Mobile Food Pantry visits to communities throughout Newport County. Schedule

  • Daily Bread: Bread and other baked goods available free of charge Mon-Fri at the Marcus Wheatland Blvd entrance, while supplies last

  • Produce to the People @ the MLK (formerly Veggie Days): weekly vegetable distribution at the MLK Center, Thursdays 10 am to 1 pm or while supplies last.

  • Grab & Go Lunch: Every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 am to 1 pm. Sponsored by Blount Fine Foods. Free! Rotating menu.

  • Preschool for registered students. DHS accepted & scholarships available. Contact Tanya by email or by phone: (401) 846-4828 x117.

  • After School program for registered elementary school students. DHS accepted & generous scholarships available. Contact Jeanine by email or by phone: (401) 846-4828 x209

  • LEAD - Peer Group for LGBTQQ+ Youth: On Wednesdays at 3 pm, LGBTQQ+ youth are invited to join the LEAD Youth Peer Group at the MLK (L.E.A.D. = Love, Equity, Acceptance, and Dreams). No RSVP necessary. Please contact Mirasia at the Center with any questions: via email or call (401) 846-4828 x201.

  • NEW!: Vine & Fig –– Socially-conscious book club for teens: Starting on November 9, 2021, Vine & Fig will dive into historical fiction and nonfiction texts with an emphasis on safe-space discussions and support for any teen in the Newport County area. Please contact Melanie Saunders by email ( or phone (401-846-4828 ext. 124) for more information.

  • Yoga Class: Yoga is offered at the Center every Tuesday and (NEW!) Friday morning at 8 am. All skill levels & all community members welcome! RSVP online or with Mel: email or call (401) 846-4828 x124.

  • Toning in '21 Fitness Class: Every Wednesday at 8:30 am, this full-body workout aims to improve balance, bone health, flexibility, and strength of participants in a safe, welcoming, and fun environment. All skill-levels & all community members welcome. RSVP online or with Mel: email or call (401) 846-4828 x124.

  • Zumba Fitness Class: Every Monday morning at 8:30 am. All skill levels & all community members welcome. RSVP online or with Mel: email or call (401) 846-4828 x124.

  • NEW DAY!: Free, Safe and Confidential HIV & Hep C Testing: Get tested for HIV & Hep C at the MLK by appointment every 2nd and 3rd Thursday of the month from 12 - 2 pm. This program is held in a confidential, private setting, separated from other Center programming. Participants are welcome to enter through the Center's Edward St entrance, where someone from APRI will meet you at your appointment time. To make an appointment: Call or email APRI: (401) 831-5522

  • Sabores Latinos: Every Monday at 5 pm, Spanish speakers are invited to join Yoli and friends for Sabores Latinos, the MLK's cooking class offered en Español. Participants will explore recipes from around the Latin world, cook alongside the instructor, and take home a meal to share with their families. All Spanish speakers are invited to attend. Spanish speakers are invited to attend. Please RSVP online or via email or call (401) 846-4828.

  • LivFit Cooking & Nutrition: Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5 pm. to approximately 6 pm. Participants explore healthy, low-cost recipes using ingredients commonly found in the food pantry. Participants cook alongside the instructor, take home a meal for their families, and learn a new recipe. RSVPs required with Kristin via email or text (401) 368-7614.

  • NEW DAY: Lunch & Learn, Registered seniors can enjoy a hearty meal, socialization, and a fun activity or informative speaker every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month at 12 pm. RSVP with Mel: email or call (401) 846-4828 x124.

  • 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 all across Newport County. 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. Registration & more info

  • Food Pantry Donations: We accept donations of non-perishable food, fresh produce, household cleaning and personal care items at our loading dock Mon-Fri 8:30 am – 5:00 pm. Please ring the bell upon arrival.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center (401) 846-4828