A hometown boy, no matter how brightly his star has shone, Jon Bon Jovi has made no secret of the fact that he was born and raised in New Jersey and his heart belongs there.
Bon Jovi has packed stadiums across the country and around the world. He has acted in movies, been on stage and sold more albums than many others who have been rocking as long as he has. But always his home has been New Jersey and his interests have come back to it again and again.
Bon Jovi has also made it his mission lately to find ways of helping the people in need in his old community without talking down to them or simply offering a handout. In 2006 he created the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation which has pledged to find a new way to help families and individuals in need of a helping hand. His altruism has been mostly done in secret, except for his recent endeavor.
Recently, Bon Jovi opened his first restaurant aimed at helping people in need of a good meal, but without being labeled another “soup kitchen.”
Called, “The Soul Kitchen,” an extension of his Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, Bon Jovi’s new restaurant is a bit different than most places which provide a charitable meal. Guests can come in, get a good, hot meal and simply pay what they wish. If they have nothing to pay with they are encouraged to volunteer their time at The Soul Kitchen in lieu of payment, making the experimental restaurant the first of its kind. If they can afford to donate a few dollars (or more) for their meal they are encouraged to do that too.
Either way, it’s a win-win situation with the rocker picking up the tab for whatever might not be covered. Volunteers can work at the restaurant washing dishes, bussing tables or even working in the kitchen to prepare meals for other patrons. Visitors are also encouraged to volunteer at the Lunch Break organization in Monmouth County, or even the local food bank. All volunteers are eligible to receive a coupon for a free meal at The Soul Kitchen.
There are envelopes on every table which patrons can use to make a donation. There are prices on the menu but everyone is encouraged to leave what they can afford and/or what they feel appropriate for the meal they received.
Here is a recent video about The Soul Kitchen:
Bon Jovi has said he fully supports the project and has already been spotted there a few times, working in back washing dishes. Diners shouldn’t expect to find him in the kitchen, however, as he admits he has no talent as a cook. But whether he cooks the meals or just supports the project The Soul Kitchen is reinventing the way our communities can support those in need without the stigma often attached to programs that offer help.
Bon Jovi has said he hopes to take the model of The Soul Kitchen and replicate it in other cities. If it turns into the success he said he hopes it will become then it seems likely The Soul Kitchen will be popping up all over the country.
So this month, why not make one of your nights out have a little more meaning? Let Royal Coachman provide the limo service to get you to and from The Soul Kitchen.Tags: Holidays in NJ