With shocking numbers of college students reporting going hungry and some even homeless, Jon Bon Jovi and his foundation JBJ Soul Kitchen will soon open their third restaurant on the Rutgers University campus in New Jersey.
Here, students and others can get a hot and nutritious meal without worry of how to pay for it.
In an interview with CBS News, Bon Jovi and his wife Dorothea Hurley talked about their reasons for starting JBJ Kitchens. Hurley explained their motivations to “CBS Sunday Morning” host Tracy Smith.
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.”
The most unhelpful thing to do for a homeless and hungry person is to shame or stigmatize them to the point where they don’t feel like they can ask for help.
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Thank you to everyone who came out for our 5th Annual Chili Cook-Off! Congratulations to our winners: 1st Place: New Jersey State Police – “Bad Medicine” 2nd Place: Lanoka Harbor First Aid – “Blaze of Glory” 3rd Place: Toms River Fire Dept., Company #1 – “The Boys on the Hill” We appreciate everyone coming out to support JBJ Soul Kitchen Toms River and all of the first responders who participated. Special thanks to Home Run Party Entertainment for providing free children’s activities and Zzak G. Applaud Our Kids Foundation Inc. for performing throughout the event. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year! #jbjsoulkitchen #tomsriver #chilicookoff #tomsriverlocal
They opened their first JBJ Soul Kitchen in 2011 in Red Bank, New Jersey. The couple wanted to offer warm, healthy meals to anyone who needed them.
Menus in their restaurants do not list prices. Patrons are asked to pay what they can and buy someone else’s meal if they can afford it. If diners can’t pay, they can volunteer at the restaurant instead.
All the food is donated and almost all the restaurant workers are volunteers.
Bon Jovi also talked about how contributing to the solution of student and community hunger makes him feel.
…a 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.
And, he and Hurley, along with JBJ Soul Kitchen will keep opening restaurants as long as communities need them.
Awesome job Jon and friends!