Jon Bon Jovi opens ‘JBJ Soul Kitchen’ to battle food insecurity at Rutgers-Newark

New Jersey
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NEWARK — Grammy-winning rock star Jon Bon Jovi has opened his third restaurant aimed at fighting food insecurity, this time on a college campus.

“My focus was not on philanthropy at 21 years old, it was on being a successful musician. At 58-years-old, your priorities change,” said Bon Jovi.

JBJ Soul Kitchen will open it’s doors to Rutgers-Newark faculty and students on Thursday.

In the United States, one in three college students face food insecurity. They’re not sure if they’ll have enough money to buy their next meal.

But at JBJ Soul Kitchen, they won’t have to worry.

Walking in, you won’t be asked if you’re a paying customer or not. Donations are encouraged, but you can also volunteer instead.

“I know what food insecurity feels like,” said one student, who said he will be a volunteer.

Right next door is a food pantry for students. It’s been open since 2017. Last semester, it donated 30 tons of food to students.

“I’ve used the food pantry before,” said another student.

Rutgers-Newark has a large population of first generation college students. More than half are in financial need.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy called this campus the most diverse in the country.

“Many of these same talented, hardworking, brilliant students are struggling to make ends meet,” said New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.

Bon Jovi and his wife Dorothea have 2 restaurants like this one in Red Bank and Toms River.

“Many people said to us, oh I didn’t know college students were hungry,” said Dorothea. “So just shining a light on it, creating that awareness is what we hope to accomplish here.”

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