2020 DATA | KOTD


Heather Hole Strout on the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center's impact in 2020:


715,085      Meals distributed through MLK Hunger Services


4,998          Clients served


1,646          New clients needing the MLK for the first time


134             Visits into the community made by the Mobile Food Pantry. 


74,595        Pounds of fresh produce distributed for free, to anyone who needed it.


$110,000    Scholarship dollars provided to low-income working parents of children in Preschool, After School and Summer Camp.


Our Education Department was a lifeline for our families who work in public-facing healthcare, retail, and hospitality jobs. If you’re a parent working as a nursing assistant, you can’t do your job remotely and when schools changed to all day Distance Learning, you needed help. The MLK was there, pivoting from After School to an All-day Distance Learning Academy day after day after day.


26%            of MLK clients identify as Hispanic/Latinx    


26%            of MLK clients are seniors aged 55+


72%            of MLK clients are from Newport


84%            of MLK clients earn less than $34,000 annually yet only 42% qualify for SNAP food assistance benefits


154             Homebound senior households receive monthly Food 2 Friends grocery deliveries


10,990        Hot breakfast meals served to homeless clients


116             Children attended Preschool, Summer Camp and After School / Distance Learning


820             Children received toys and gifts at Santa’s Workshop


578             Families received a turkey, fresh veggies and all the ingredients for Thanksgiving meal


1,003          Children aged 0 – 5 received a free book in the mail each month from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a program we launched in 2020 despite the pandemic. (And 87% of the Rhode Island kids registered for this program, get their books because of the MLK.)

2020 DATA | KOTD

Whitney Slade on the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center's finances:

“The MLK’s finances are strong and stable. As of 12/31/20 – we reached 70% ($1.4M) of our goal to have 9 months of reserves ($2M) in a Board Designated Reserve Fund. We created on Endowment Fund of nearly $1.7M with the sale of donated real estate. 


Last year, revenue increased significantly (due to many one-time COVID relief grants) from $1.5M in 2019 to $3.4M in 2020 (100% increase).  This allowed us to sustain substantial increases in necessary programming and to fund our endowment for fiscal health to maintain this increased programming for the future.


Hunger Services programming expenses increased by 66%. Education programming expenses did not increase due to classroom closures due to COVID. We shifted the majority of expenses (including staff) to other programming to compensate for the loss of volunteer resources.


Scholarships for education program tuition increased by 114%. Community Programs expenses increase by  54%


Prior to COVID-19, most of our food inventory was donated: 77% was donated and only 23% purchased. That ratio flipped by December 31, 2020: only 35% of our food was donated and we purchased 65% of our food. COVID-19 impacted our ability to accept donated food and many donors were themselves impacted by the pandemic and unable to donate. We saw a marked increase in requests for hunger relief and needed to purchase more food to meet that need.


The MLK puts money into programs. 86 cents of every dollar goes to programming expenses while 14 cents goes to administrative and fundraising.




Lois and Bob Zawrotny photograph: