Jon Bon Jovi opening third Soul Kitchen to feed hungry college students at Rutgers-Newark: 'The menus have no prices'
"It can obviously never compare to performing or writing songs," Bon Jovi said. "But what it does do is give you the same sense of fulfillment when you see the lives you touch"
After the success of his first two endeavors, a third Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen community restaurant is scheduled to open on the campus of Rutgers-Newark at the university's Paul Robeson Campus Center on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Newark, on January 23.
Similar Soul Kitchens already exist in locations like Red Bank and Toms River. "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?" Jon said on a segment of 'CBS Sunday Morning' which aired on Sunday, November 24, according to an App report.
These are special restaurants where customers can either choose to pay for their meals or if they don't have money, they will be invited to volunteer in the kitchen in some capacity.
The menus have no prices at the restaurant and guests who choose to pay will have to cough up a minimum of $12 for a three-course meal, in part to help subsidize someone else’s.
Cash, credit card, raider or dining dollars are all acceptable forms of payments and customers are encouraged to pay it forward to cover the meal cost of another guest in need.
During the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, in 2015 and 2016, Spoon Full of Hope, a partnership between the Gateway Church of Christ of Morganville, the Bon Jovi’s Soul Kitchen and JBJ Soul Foundation, operated at the Union Beach.
Bon Jovi and his wife Dorothea Bongiovi said that they hoped to open more Soul Kitchens in various locations in the future. "Hunger doesn’t look like what your mind's eye might imagine," said Bongiovi to CBS at the Red Bank Soul Kitchen.
"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'."
According to the company's mission statement, Bon Jovi created the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation in Philadelphia in 2006 to "combat issues that force families and individuals into economic despair."
It is believed that he took on the endeavor after witnessing a homeless man sleeping on the gutter outside a hotel he was staying in. "It can obviously never compare to performing or writing songs," Bon Jovi said on 'CBS Sunday Morning'.
"But what it does do is give 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."