As the pandemic ramped up, we began to feel the combined financial crunch of lockdowns, businesses closing, and having the kids at home. People needed food more than ever.
But that’s also when food pantries started running low on necessities. In some cases, they had to start turning away needy families and individuals.
Thankfully, there were people who were willing to step in to help with the increasing demand. In this case, one of those people was Jon Bon Jovi. Along with him came the JBJ Soul Kitchen Food Bank, an offshoot of his generous restaurant concept. (And yes, the JBJ does stand for “Jon Bon Jovi.”)
The JBJ Soul Kitchen Food Bank
To help with the strain that food pantries were experiencing, the JBJ Soul Kitchen Food Bank began to deliver roughly 25,000 pounds of nonperishable and healthy foods each week. They did it from a warehouse with a staff of mostly volunteers, all eager to give back to a community in need.
With that much food and support, the staff and volunteers from Jon Bon Jovi’s food bank were able to stock eight food pantries in the surrounding area.
That is going above and beyond.
It started with a little restaurant
This isn’t even the first time Bon Jovi has given back to the community. It turns out that he has a long history of doing more than just writing a check.
Before the JBJ Soul Kitchen Food Bank, there was the JBJ Soul Kitchen. It’s a little restaurant near the train tracks in Toms River, New Jersey. It was the brainchild of Bon Jovi’s wife, Dorothea. She wanted to create something that helped to alleviate and bring awareness to the invisible hunger in their community.
A look inside
The JBJ Soul Kitchen restaurant and community kitchen aren’t like the large and industrial-looking warehouse that the food bank with the same name uses.
It’s a small and thriving restaurant with a gourmet feel, white tablecloths, busy staff, happy patrons, and a menu of farm-fresh foods with no prices.
The lack of any prices is where the magic happens.
When people come to eat at the restaurant, they are asked for a donation to cover their meal and the meal of someone who may be in need. If they cannot afford it, then they do not have to pay.
It gives people the opportunity to give to the less fortunate in their area while having a nice meal. It also offers the hungry that same meal, in the same environment.
All from the heart
The hearts that created that community kitchen had to help when the pandemic struck. So, when dining in became an issue, they decided to make sure that food was still getting to where it needed to go.
That was the thought behind the creation of the food bank. Jon Bon Jovi and his wife wanted to keep making a positive difference in the lives around them, especially when it was needed most.
Would you like to hear more about the JBJ Soul Kitchen Food Bank, the thought behind it, and the people involved?
Be sure to check out the video with Bon Jovi below. It might just restore your faith in humanity.
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