Rocker, dad and humanitarian Jon Bon Jovi just shot an ad spot for Advil – his first ever endorsement of a product in his 30 year career, which premiered on Good Morning America and The Today Show.
Bon Jovi is spreading the gospel of caring and giving back as he appears in films, touring and promoting his Soul Kitchen Foundation – and he says he just doesn’t have time for pain, “he’s checked his schedule and it’s not on it.”
In late 2011, Jon Bon Jovi has opened JBJ Soul Kitchen in Red Bank, NJ to a crowd that overflowed the gardens and parking lot at the “community kitchen,” which redefines how the issue of hunger can be handled.
With no prices on the menu, the Soul Kitchen serves meals to customers who have earned them through volunteer hours.
The Soul Kitchen operates as a program of the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation and is sustained by cash payment from customers who are able to pay the suggested donation (or even a little more).
The JBJ Soul Kitchen began serving meals in 2009, utilizing two different pilot locations and assessing the patrons’ needs and response to the model, before renovating an old 1,100 square foot auto-body shop as the Kitchen’s new, permanent location.
“At a time when 1 in 5 households are living at or below the poverty level, and at a time when 1 out of 6 Americans are food insecure, this is a restaurant whose time has come. This is a place based on and built on community – by and for the community,” said Jon Bon Jovi.
“The JBJ Soul Kitchen officially opened its doors in Red Bank, NJ on October 19th. The response has been even better than we could have hoped for. We at the JBJ Soul Kitchen are a Community Restaurant where there are no prices on our menus. As you may have heard you can either donate at least the minimum donation of $10.00 for your meal or donate your time to earn your meal. We have met many people from across the economic spectrum who are all ready, willing, and able to engage in our community,” says Bon Jovi.
Inspired by the old adage, “teach a man to fish,” diners in need who come to the Soul Kitchen are empowered – they have earned a seat at the table for themselves and their families through volunteer hours at the Kitchen or other local organizations. They are served nutritious culinary dishes by the wait-staff in a lovely restaurant atmosphere with the dignity of having earned their meal. On the other hand, patrons who can afford to dine anywhere are rewarded with not only a delicious meal but with the knowledge that by dining out and leaving the suggested donation, they’ve contributed to their community.
In addition to the Soul Kitchen’s own organic gardens, natural food is being provided by Whole Foods Market Middletown, in partnership with their vendors, many of whom are from New Jersey and the surrounding areas.
The JBJ Soul Kitchen is currently open from 5-7 Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
207 Monmouth St.
Red Bank, NJ 07701
Reservation line: (732) 842-0900
Learn more: www.jbjsoulkitchen.org
Bon Jovi says, “At a time when 1 in 5 families are living at or below the poverty line and 1 in 6 children in NJ are food insecure, this is a restaurant whose time has come. The JBJ Soul Kitchen is also a model that can be replicated in your town. I want to thank everyone who made this vision a reality, all of the staff, volunteers, contractors, those who have donated money, time and words of encouragement, those who have come to eat or just to check us out on the web.”