Angel Tree

Join us for our Christmas Kick-Off celebration at University Park Mall this Friday evening!



For more information about all of our Christmas Programs and how you can get involved, visit

Food For Fitness



Don’t miss this week’s promotion at the Kroc Center!  Food For Fitness is an opportunity for members and non-members alike to try out a fitness class for free while supporting the Walter A. Meyer food pantry right here on site!  Bring a non-perishable food, hygiene, or household item to 900 W. Western Avenue in South Bend any time this week and sign up for a FREE group exercise class.  Find out why you belong here!

Summer Camp Service Project

If you are friends with the South Bend Kroc on Facebook, you’ll know that the Summer Camp has been a rockin’ place to be this year!  But it hasn’t been all fun and games.  These kids work hard, too.  Though, looking at these pictures, it seems as though hard work can be awfully fun!

This year the task was to paint, build, and assemble colorful signs for our Unity Garden:







If you would like to see this creativity in person, stop by the Kroc any time! And while you’re there, pull a few weeds and sample our delicious assortment of fresh veggies!


Save the Date for KrocFest!!


Kroc Center Back Pack party 08.17.2013   Looking for one last day of fun this summer before school starts and the weather begins to cool?

August 16, 2014 is the day to visit downtown South Bend!

Lots of exciting things are happening around here that day, including ArtBeat and our very own KrocFest!

We are pretty psyched for all of the fun things planned.  Our soccer field will host an obstacle course sponsored by the ROC of St. Joseph County, KROC17aug2013_220

several large bouncy houses








Kroc Center Back Pack party 08.17.2013







a football challenge area, live performances on the main stage, and more!

And that’s just the field!  We will also have fun and games elsewhere on the property, including,

a dunk tank

Kroc Center Back Pack party 08.17.2013






face paintingKROC17aug2013_040

and mascot challenges.
















The Kroc Center is proud to take this opportunity to partner with the South Bend Community School Corporation and WNDU to give away free backpacks to children in the community.  Last year we gave away nearly 4,000 bags filled with necessary school supplies in an effort to ensure no child in our community had to start the year unprepared. DSC_0109Kroc Center Back Pack party 08.17.2013

Area businesses also pitch in to provide services such as free hair cuts and physicals so that kids can start the school year right!


So whether you are looking for fun in the sun or a way to get your kids ready for school, come visit the Kroc Center on August 16, 2014 from 3-6pm!


*Pictures courtesy of KrocFest 2013*



Spotlight on a Kroctastic Achievement: Bruce Fuqua

Bruce with his 3rd place trophy!

Bruce with his 3rd place trophy!

Meet Bruce!  He is the Facilities Director at the Kroc Center.  Bruce competed in his first ever body building competition on July 5th, 2014.    Not only did he complete his first competition, but he placed 3rd in his age group!  The most amazing thing about his achievement is that it happened on the anniversary of his emergency appendectomy.

During the year following his surgery, Bruce decided to get back in shape.  He was shopping for life insurance and wanted to be healthy to get a good price.  He had always dreamed of being a body builder, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity!  “I have always wanted to be a body builder and compete, but thought I was too small.  When I found out that it was not all about how big you could get but more about symmetry and proportion I decided to start training.”

Bruce’s training regimen consisted of 10 months altogether, including 5 months of intense preparation.  Early morning workouts, strict dieting, and even the time commitment of posing classes all presented significant challenges.  The hardest things were getting to the gym by 6:00am every morning and staying away from junk foods and sugars while getting enough protein. “I want to thank my wife Dawn for being patient with me making noise at 4:30am every morning when I would get up to come in and work out and when I would leave her alone on Sunday afternoon so I could go to posing practice.”  But winning an unexpected 3rd place made it all worth the work!

The Kroc Center played a big part in Bruce’s motivation and success.  “Without the Kroc Center I don’t think I would have done anything different than I always had done before working here.  I would have tried to stay fit, but would not have learned that competing was something I could have ever done.”  He appreciated all the support and instruction from the staff, and especially loved the convenience of training in a facility that provides all the equipment and expertise he needed to prepare.  “The trainers and staff were a great resource for information and instruction and were always eager to help me with any questions I had.”

Since the competition, Bruce has expanded his fitness goals.  “I would like to continue competing and maybe do some mud runs or obstacle racing.  I might even throw in some cross fit.  I would like to do some parkour, but I may have to make sure my insurance covers crazy first!”

Bruce & wife Dawn (center) with the FRC staff Kolleen (left) and me!

Bruce & wife Dawn (center) with the FRC staff Kolleen (left) and me!

When asked what words of wisdom he has for anybody embarking on their own journey, Bruce stated, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help from people who know more than you, and share your goals and success with others.  The support and encouragement I get from the people here [The Kroc Center] have made all the difference for me.”











Pantries Fight Hunger

Empty FridgeAt some point in our lives we all experience that sinking feeling as we peer into an empty refrigerator and reflect on our equally empty checking account.  The term for this circumstance is “food insecurity,” referring to the fact that we aren’t sure where the next meal is coming from, and it probably won’t be even close to nutritionally balanced when it does come.  I especially remember my college days when I was living on financial aid and Ramen Noodles.  Thankfully, this was usually a transitory experience lasting a few days or at most a couple of weeks until the next paycheck came in.  Others are not so lucky.

Almost 30% of the children in our county live at or below the poverty level, experiencing food insecurity on a daily basis.  The cause of poverty and hunger is vast and multi-faceted.  For some, company downsizing can cause difficulties for families unused to privation.  Other families may be experiencing hardships due to medical emergencies or the death of a primary wage earner.  In the past several years, the recession was a major factor for struggling families.


The food pantry in the South Bend Kroc Center.

Food pantries are an important outlet for those of us who want to combat hunger in our community.  They offer a temporary reprieve for families facing unexpected hunger.    Fortunately for our community, there are over 40 different pantries attempting to alleviate these crises in St. Joseph County alone.  Help can materialize in many forms, and there is a lot you can do!

It’s easy to see a large social problem like hunger and feel powerless, but a little help can go a long way.  The most popular way to fight hunger is to donate non-perishable foods to your local food pantry, such as the one housed in the Kroc Center’s Family Resource Center.  Volunteers are often needed for a variety of tasks to assist with sorting and distributing food.  You can also get involved in fun promotional activities such as Hunger Action Month in September.

For more information on ways you can get involved visit The Kroc Center website or leave a comment here!

The Things We Need


Walk into the nearest bathroom and look around. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Was there toilet paper? Chances are, the answer is yes.

Toothpaste? Soap? Shampoo? Check.








Ok. Now look under the kitchen sink.
Cleaning supplies? Paper products? Yep.










Check your sock drawer. What’s in there? Well, duh…


Most of us don’t give much thought to these household basics.  But for many people items like this are hard to come by.

A lot of attention is given to feeding hungry people. And rightfully so.  Food is one of the most important basic needs we have. But remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? Food is not the only physiological need.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Human beings also need to perform a certain amount of self care to maintain basic health.  For many families who qualify for nutritional assistance programs like SNAP and WIC, non-food household goods are the most challenging resources to afford.  Homeless and indigent individuals face even greater challenges when the lack of a permanent address prevents access to even these basic assistance programs.

For several hours every week the food pantry at our Family Resource Center is bustling with activity.  But the items requested most often aren’t even edible!  Items like paper products and cleaning supplies.  Diapers.

Ask a homeless man what he needs the most.  New socks.

Ironically, these are also some of the hardest items for us to provide.  Not that we aren’t trying!  A small personal care package is one way we attempt to provide for the additional needs of our homeless individuals.

Homeless Care Package

Homeless Care Package

You can help too!  A few simple ideas to assist us in our Mission:

  • Snag the sample toiletries during hotel stays…maybe even ask for extras, if you’re brave 🙂
  • Buy-one-get-one sale on socks at Wal-Mart? Keep the pack you paid for!  We’ll gladly accept the extra.
  • Still have unopened packages of diapers your kids grew out of last year? We can make good use of them!
  • Be creative!  I’m sure you have lots of ideas on how to help out.  And I’d love to hear all about them.