The food pantry at the MLK Center.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center announced today that they have been gifted $15,000 by Newport-based Drupal Connect.

According to a press release, former Newport City Councilor John Florez, who is the CEO of Drupal Connect, and wife Karen Sironen have committed to donating $15,000 toward the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center’s daily breakfast program.

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center serves breakfast every weekday morning at 7:30 a.m., open to any resident of Newport County. The meal has typically been a continental breakfast (bagels, cereal, fruit, etc.) but in 2019, the Center committed to more frequently serving hot breakfasts. This donation has allowed this pledge to become a reality.

“Drupal Connect believes strongly in supporting community initiatives that make Newport county a better place,” said Drupal Connect CEO John Florez in the press release. “Karen, our family, and I lived in this community for over 10 years, so we have seen the crucial role that the MLK plays in the lives of so many. This donation will ensure more hot breakfasts with eggs, meat, and veggies are served more frequently to our neighbors who need it most.”

Serving hot breakfast at the Center comes at a cost, which is why this contribution is especially meaningful, according to the release. Pricier fresh, perishable ingredients need to be purchased in order to serve a hot breakfast, so this contribution to defray these costs is extremely significant.

“We are humbled by the generosity of Drupal Connect, John, and Karen,” said Heather Hole Strout, Executive Director of the MLK in the release. “Breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day, and many of the clients that we serve each morning are among the most vulnerable in our community, including many homeless clients. We are so grateful for the opportunity to deliver them more nutritious, hot breakfasts with this donation.”

The MLK Community Center’s breakfast program is almost entirely run by volunteers alone.

The $15,000 donation was hand-delivered to the Center during breakfast on Monday, April 8th by Taylor Brandariz, Vice President of Operations at Drupal Connect, who is also a regular breakfast program volunteer.

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