Jon Bon Jovi Opens Charity Restaurant

10:41 AM PST 10/20/2011 by Rebecca Ford
John W. Ferguson/Getty Images

The JBJ Soul Kitchen lets customers volunteer in lieu of paying for their meals.

Jon Bon Jovi is the latest celebrity to open a restaurant – but his has a charitable twist.

“Soul Kitchen is community restaurant with no prices on the menu; customers donate to pay for their meal. If you are unable to donate you may do volunteer work in exchange for your family's meal,” states the restaurant’s website.

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Opened by the musician and his wife, the JBJ Soul Kitchen in New Jersey takes both cash and volunteer hours for payment. The concept is to provide a dine-in experience to the hungry while enabling them to volunteer on projects in return.

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“At a time when 1 in 5 households are living at or below the poverty level, and at a time when 1 out of 6 Americans are food insecure, this is a restaurant whose time has come. This is a place based on and built on community – by and for the community,” said Jon Bon Jovi at the opening on Thursday.

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The JBJ Soul Kitchen began serving meals in 2009, using two different locations, before renovating an old 1,100 square foot auto-body shop as the Kitchen’s new, permanent location.

The establishment, which will be open Thursdays, Friday and Saturdays, will serve meals using items from their own organic gardens, and natural food provided by Whole Foods Market Middletown and other vendors.

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