Jon Bon Jovi Helps Hungry with Soul Kitchen
Rocker Jon Bon Jovi has always been a big support to others who were needing help. He has sung about it in many of his songs with his band Bon Jovi. Now he has found a way to put his words in action.
In New Jersey he and his wife Dorthea have opened a cafe called Soul Kitchen. The idea came from Jon and Dorthea. The concept is easy, it’s designed to give a good home cooked meal to EVERYONE, whether you can pay cash or not. There are no prices on the menu, people give a donation. If you can’t afford the donation, are unable to pay to have a meal out, if someone is hungry and does not want a free meal, they can go to Soul Kitchen and pay by working at the restaurant or volunteering in the community. If you can pay, there is a suggested $10.00 donation. Jon Bon Jovi suggests that the ones who can afford to, leave more, because the person next to you may not be able to pay.
At Soul kitchen you can’t tell who just came to eat out, and who is truly hungry, and that’s exactly the way it’s supposed to be. It gives many the chance to do something a lot of working families can no longer afford, a chance to eat out.
Bon Jovi and his wife took an old auto body shop and turned it into a restaurant. Their vision is to create community by eating together. Bon Jovi said on the Today show “language barriers separate us, economics separate us, job descriptions sometimes separate us, well what does everyone need to do? Eat.” ” This is a place everyone can come to eat and feel comfortable.” This idea hits very close to home for Jon, he grew up in New Jersey and still lives near the cafe. He can be found on any given night cruising around in the restaurant talking to the customers, or behind the counter. “This is not a photo op” laughs Bon Jovi, “me in that kitchen, I’m washing dishes, you know that’s what I get to do.”
Jon and Dorthea hope that this idea will be a template that can be replicated in communities around the country. A place that feeds everyone, rich or poor. “If you want to see effective change, come and have a meal,” says Bon Jovi. He wants to not only feed people, but for them to leave “Happy, healthy, you know, body and soul.” The Soul Kitchen has plenty of volunteers at this point, what’s needed now, they say, is hungry customers who have an appetite for giving back.
Not all rock icons are as generous as Jon, which makes this even more special than it already is.