Jon Bon Jovi and his wife are about to open their third community restaurant to help feed the hungry. Under the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, the main goal of the community restaurants is to provide access to a basic human need—healthy and nutritious food.
Soon to open a restaurant in the Rutgers University campus in New Jersey on Jan. 23, JBJ Soul Kitchen currently has two other operating locations in Red Bank and Toms River, New Jersey. The foundation plans to continue opening community restaurants as needed nationwide.
The non-profit community restaurants serve both paying and in-need customers. According to Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation’s website, there are no prices on the menu. Instead, customers are asked to pay a suggested donation—$20, $12 in Newark—but if that suggested donation can’t be made, customers may still enjoy a delicious meal.
“For those who are unable to make a donation for their meal, we invite you to come in, enjoy a meal and learn how you can be part of the JBJ Soul Kitchen community by volunteering.”
One hour of volunteering such as cooking, washing dishes, busing tables or waiting tables will earn a person unable to make the suggested donation a three-course meal. According to the website, JBJ Soul Kitchen served 105,893 meals with 54 percent of the customers paying the suggested donation, while the rest have volunteered to earn their meal.
The kitchens’ three-course meal is based on American Regional cuisine, including a starter, the choice of an entrée, like fish, meat, or a vegetarian option—and a freshly made dessert with much of the ingredients locally sourced.
“One in six people in America are suffering at night and going to bed hungry, and one in five families live at or below the poverty line,” Bon Jovi said about his community restaurants in 2011. “What this restaurant is truly meant to do is empower. You don’t come in here with a sense of entitlement. You come in here and volunteer because we need your help.”