“You’re feeling down, misunderstood I know
That these times ain’t looking so good
When you’re mad at the world and
You’re feeling like you’re losing control
All we need to survive is a little bit of soul”
—Little Bit of Soul, Bon Jovi
For five years, Jon Bon Jovi’s Soul Foundation has partnered with communities and civic leaders to provide housing, counseling services, relocation assistance and career placement initiatives for the needy. With the national unemployment rate stuck at 9%, 25 million Americans out of work, and more people in poverty in this country than at any time since the Great Depression, people are going without, and some are starving.
In response to these difficult times, Wednesday in Red Bank, New Jersey, the foundation opened the JBJ Soul Kitchen. This is no Community Food Bank or down-on-your-luck soup kitchen.
Rather, it is empowered nourishment.
Simply, folks can ‘earn’ a seat at the table of the JBJ Soul Kitchen by volunteering either at the kitchen or other charities within the community. Their efforts make it possible for them to have a safe, warm atmosphere with which to enjoy healthy fresh cuisine.
Similar to the welfare-to-work program in the Clinton Administration, rather than provide a simple handout that does nothing to encourage personal development and sense of self, this program encourages and rewards volunteerism. This allows people who need the meals an opportunity to stay active and engaged within their communities, as well as maintain their self-worth.
The JBJ Soul Kitchen is an equal opportunity source of wholesome meals. Additional funding for the kitchen is raised via cash donations from patrons who can afford to pay, along with any additional donation the patron may choose to make for the good of the cause.
The kitchen is the culmination of an evolution within the JBJSF to try to directly meet the needs of the hungry as a natural response to the stubbornly worsening economic conditions in the Red Bank, New Jersey area.
“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”, Jon Bon Jovi said at the opening.
The 1,100 square foot kitchen property was formerly an abandoned auto body shop. Every component of the concept of the kitchen encourages community action in some form: from the conversion of a blighted out-of-use property to a kitchen; to the volunteerism set forth as the means with which to earn a meal; to the sense of selfless giving patrons who can afford to pay will feel when they pay for their own meals knowing that it was a meal with meaning.
HOURS OF OPERATION:
Thursday, Friday & Saturday: 5-7pm.
207 Monmouth Street
Red Bank, NJ 07701
For reservations: 732-842-0900
FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.jbjsoulkitchen.org