Jon Bon Jovi has demonstrated that he is more than just a successful pop star. He founded the JBJ Soul Kitchen Foundation, which is about to establish its third community restaurant.
People who cannot afford a fresh and nutritious hot meal can come to our restaurant, where they will be served without judgment. This third restaurant will open on the New Jersey campus of Rutgers University.
Bon Jovi and his wife Dorothea Hurley discussed the motivation behind JBJ Soul Kitchen and how they became engaged. “Hunger doesn’t look like what your mind’s eye might imagine,” Hurley told CBS Sunday Morning host, Tracy Smith. “It’s the people at your church. It is the children who attend school with your children.
“And I think that was eye-opening for a lot of folks in the neighborhood who thought, ‘Oh, there aren’t any homeless people here.'” Homelessness is a social taboo that is rarely discussed. Because of this stigma, people who are homeless or destitute may not seek help and will not have access to the resources they require.
In 2011, the two created their first JBJ Soul Kitchen in Red Bank, New Jersey, with the objective of delivering great meals to the community’s residents in need. The JBJ Soul Kitchen’s menu does not include prices, and customers are free to pay what they like. Additionally, visitors who can afford it have the option of paying for the meals of others.
People who are unable to pay are asked to volunteer. Volunteers do almost all of the work, and the majority of the food is donated. The latest effort of Bon Jovi and his wife is aimed at Rutgers University students who are unable to afford nutritional food.
“We all think it’s a rite of passage to study hard and eat ramen noodles. How about if it’s the only thing you can afford?”
The duo has no plans to stop there; they intend to open new JBJ Soul Kitchens as long as there is a demand for them. It’s obviously nothing like the performing life that Bon Jovi is used to, but it provides a different sense of fulfillment.
“It can obviously never compare to performing or writing songs,” the rockstar said. “But what it does do is it gives you the same sense of fulfillment, I think, when I leave here at night and you see the lives you touch. I have left here, you know, after a long night of volunteering and said, ‘That makes you feel the same kind of good.’ You know?
And that’s what I say, the way to feel good is to do good, you know? Find your good and do it.”