Jon Bon Jovi, the frontman of Bon Jovi, and his wife Dorothea Hurley opened these community kitchens that have no prices on the menu. You can donate for a service, like washing dishes, in exchange for your supper.
Jon Bon Jovi once again proved that he is much more than a rockstar. The singer and his wife Dorothea Hurley have opened up a third community kitchen that serves food for those who can't afford to pay. This 57-year-old Grammy winner is an avid philanthropist and he is doing whatever he can for the community to the best of his abilities.
The first kitchen was named JBJ Soul Kitchen and it opened eight years ago in Red Bank, New Jersey. It was an auto repair shop that was turned into a restaurant that feeds anyone who is hungry but cannot afford food.
Even though it is called a restaurant, there are no prices on the menu. In fact, diners are asked to pay a $20 donation that covers their meal and someone else's meal and if you cannot donate any money, you can donate for a service, like washing dishes, in exchange for your supper.
In 2016, Bon Jovi and his wife paired up to open their second community restaurant, Soul Kitchen, in Toms River, New Jersey, reported Billboard. In a press conference, the singer said, "This location is even larger, we are going to have an even greater impact on the community of Toms River. Our mission has always been to affect positive change and address the issues of hunger and homelessness. We are expanding our mission with a network of partners and resources to meet the needs of the community of Toms River."
Dorothea Hurley, in a conversation with CBS said, "Hunger doesn't look like what your mind's eye might imagine. It's the people at your church. It's the kids that go to school with your kids. And I think that was eye-opening for a lot of the community here that said, 'Oh, there's no homeless people here.'"
"And they look around the restaurant, and I say, 'I can name five people right now that I know are homeless in this restaurant right now, but they don't look like what you think they're gonna look like."
Now, the couple has announced their plans to open a third community kitchen and it will be at the Newark campus of Rutgers University. Bon Jovi added, "We need you guys to spread the message because we can provide great food, but unless the kids are coming in to eat, we failed. When you send your kids off to school, you don't think about, after tuition, books, living, what's left for food? And so few are on meal plans, to begin with. And that's another reason why they're eating ramen noodles. We all think it's the right of passage – to study hard and eat the ramen noodles. But how about if it's the only thing you can afford?"
Going by the website, the JBJ Soul Kitchens have served a total of 105,893 meal to date, of which only 54% were paid for with donations. The website reads, "JBJ Soul Kitchen serves a 3-course meal based on American Regional cuisine, beginning with the option of a soup or salad. Each guest also has the choice of an entrée such as fish, meat, or vegetarian selection. The meal is finished with a freshly made dessert. Our chefs prepare many of the dishes with natural, locally sourced ingredients from our garden or the JBJ Soul Kitchen Farm."
Dorothy added, "You know, it does restore your faith in humanity. Because people will, I believe, given the opportunity to help another human being. And that's what we see here all the time."
Bon Jovi chimed in, saying, "It can obviously never compare to performing or writing songs. But what it does do is it gives you the same sense of fulfillment, I think when we leave here at night. That's why I say: the way to feel good is to do good, you know?"