His message was simple and clear, too. "If you can’t do what you do... do what you can!"
Jon Bon Jovi has been using his fame to put the spotlight on things that really matter. On Thursday, JBJ Soul Kitchen in Red Bank posted a picture of the humble star washing dishes along with his staff on Instagram. Soul Kitchen is a non-profit restaurant owned by the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, where they serve customers, both paying and in-need. Diners have the option of paying for their meals via cash donations, or by volunteering to work and pay for their meals, reports NJ.com. Most of us have been asked to stay at home because of the global pandemic, as it's the way to curb the spread of the deadly virus that has claimed the lives of many world over.
It's about making the best out of the situation that we don't really have control over. He captioned his post with a simple yet effective message, writing: If you can’t do what you do... do what you can! A couple of months ago, Jon Bon Jovi and his wife Dorothea opened the third location of their volunteer-run restaurant, JBJ Soul Kitchen, at Rutgers University. The Grammy Award winner and his wife have been actively engaged in philanthropic activities through their foundation since 2006. Together, Rutgers University and the singer joined forces to help students struggling with food insecurity.
According to the University's website, over 75 percent of the 36,000 undergraduate students receive financial aid, along with the graduate students, who also receive financial aid from the University. Thanks to this new venture, students who cannot afford to pay for the food will be able to get a fresh, three-course meal without having to worry about payment. This is the first time Soul Kitchen has been set-up on a college campus. A Rutgers student Adrian Acakios said, "A lot of my friends often times will be like I don’t know where my next meal’s going to come from." The fact that they have Soul Kitchen within the campus is a life-saver for many students.
Wife Dorothea Hurley said, "Recognizing that food insecurity is a critical issue facing many college students, and one that hits home right here at Rutgers, when Gourmet Dining came to us over a year ago with the idea to open a Soul Kitchen, we jumped at the chance to make an impact." The Soul Kitchen's menu is not priced, and diners are encouraged to make a donation of $12 or use a donated meal plan swipe. Even if a person can't pay the full price of the meal or has no money on them, they are always welcome to step inside Soul Kitchen to enjoy a three-course meal. Those who can't pay can also volunteer to work in the kitchen, instead.
The first JBJ Soul Kitchen opened in 2011 in Red Banks. Five years later, in 2016, the foundation opened its second community restaurant in Toms River, New Jersey. Bon Jovi said, "We opened our first Soul Kitchen ten years in Red Bank, New Jersey after Super Storm Sandy. And the second one on Toms River, because those were the people most impacted by it. Now what we realize is that there were kids in colleges that were hungry. And this was a — logical progression. And Rutgers really embraced the concept." Hurley noted, "People had this romanticized version of the starving student. It’s not as romantic as we would like to think it is.”