You may know Jon Bon Jovi from hits like “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “You Give Love a Bad Name,” but the famous singer is passionate about a lot more than music. He has a long-lasting marriage, a new cruise line, and a passion for giving back.

Did you know that Bon Jovi has a charitable foundation called the JBJ Soul Foundation? This foundation helps people in need by providing housing and food. 

Today, we want to focus on the food part of this foundation’s work. In particular, we want to tell you about two very unique restaurants that are run by the JBJ Soul Foundation.

The restaurants are called JBJ Soul Kitchen, and they are located in two different areas of New Jersey, one in Red Bank, which is where Bon Jovi was born, and one in Toms River. The two restaurants have the same purpose – to provide meals to anyone whether or not they can afford to pay. One of their mottos is, “All are welcome at our table.”

This is not a soup kitchen. They are really, truly community restaurants with a menu filled with healthy and freshly prepared three-course meals. The first course consists of your choice of soup or salad. The second course is your choice of an entree like fish, chicken, or a vegetarian option. The final course is a dessert.

Many of the ingredients used are grown right on-site – farm to table at it’s finest. The menu changes every 10 days, so there’s always something new to enjoy.

If you can afford to pay for your meal, that’s great. The restaurant is happy to accept a recommended $20 donation. If you cannot afford the donation, that’s perfectly fine. In fact, those who are the most in need of a meal have priority and will be seated first.

 

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Day 2: Feeding furloughed government workers today in Toms River Soul Kitchen.

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There are no reservations, and people are assigned seating in the order that they arrive (with the exception of those who are very hungry and need to eat right away). The tables are long and meant to be shared. Sharing the table with strangers who may or may not be able to pay for their meals helps inspire community and make conversation natural.

At the time of publication, Soul Kitchen has served 105,893 meals. Of those meals, 54% were paid for by donations and 46% were earned through volunteering. Those who can’t afford to pay are offered an opportunity to volunteer by doing something like bussing tables, serving meals, or washing dishes.

If you live in New Jersey, stop by and check it out for yourself. If you don’t, you can still support the cause by providing a tax-deductible donation.

We love this idea of a community restaurant where everyone gets a healthy, freshly prepared meal. Do you think more restaurants like this should be created?