ABC/Lou RoccoJon Bon Jovi and his wife, Dorothea, were in Newark, New Jersey, Wednesday to celebrate the opening of their third JBJ Soul Kitchen non-profit restaurant, located on the Newark campus of Rutgers University, WABC TV reports.
Jon and Dorothea established the JBJ Soul Kitchen restaurants to help provide quality meals to homeless and hungry people. Diners who visit the eateries are asked to pay a suggested amount of money that will cover their own meal and someone else’s. If they can’t pay for their food, they’re asked to volunteer at the restaurant.
The Newark restaurant follows JBJ Soul Kitchen franchises in Toms River and Red Bank, New Jersey, and is the first to be located on a college campus.
Speaking at the opening, Jon Bon Jovi noted, “For the last decade, the Soul Kitchen restaurants in Red Bank and in Toms River have provided well over 100,000 meals…It’s been a passion project for us for a decade now.”
Dorothea, meanwhile, said that opening a branch of the restaurant at Rutgers was “humbling and a little overwhelming.”
She added, “Recognizing that food insecurity is a critical issue facing many college students and one that hits home here at Rutgers, when [campus food-service provider] Gourmet Dining came to us over a year ago with the idea to open a Soul Kitchen, we jumped on the chance to make an impact.”
The Rutgers JBJ Soul Kitchen’s website notes that “[m]ore than 50 percent of students have exceptional financial need,” and that in New Jersey’s Essex County, where the Newark campus is located, “16.3 percent of residents struggle with food insecurity.”
Donations to help fund the restaurants also are accepted at JBJSoulKitchen.org.
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