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Bon Jovi, the musician launches a chain of restaurants to feed the poor

Rocker and philanthropist Jon Bon Jovi is launching his restaurant chain, The Soul Kitchen, on a large scale. Serving free meals to people in need.

After opening their first restaurant The Soul Kitchen in May 2011, Jon Bon Jovi and his wife Dorothea unveil a second charity restaurant in one of the most hit regions of New Jersey by Hurricane Sandy. This is the second of a long series, because the couple is ready – as they declared in the most recent release of the Billboard weekly magazine – to expand their community restaurant chain. Their effort is geared towards allowing those who can’t afford a meal to dine in their restaurant, given that “one in six people in America are suffering at night and going to bed hungry, and one in five families live at or below the poverty line”, as the singer told the CBS.

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Jon Bon Jovi in The Soul Kitchen restaurant he opened this year at Toms River, one of the most hit areas by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 © Billboard

A menu with no prices in Jon Bon Jovi’s Soul Kitchen

In The Soul Kitchen restaurants, one of the last projects launched by the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation for the poor in the United States, families and individuals can eat in a warm and cozy environment and get to know other customers. The meals are prepared with fresh, organic ingredients grown in the restaurant’s orchard or in the Foundation’s farm. The prices aren’t listed on the menu as donations are free. Those who can’t afford to pay the meal can volunteer: one hour of work cooking, washing dishes or tidying up the garden earns individuals and families a meal.

The facility will also include other programmes: a cooking school, a food bank that distributes food to homeless people, after-school activities for at-risk children, a vocational training centre, healthcare and free tax preparation. “Everybody feels like part of a community. This is something that serves to feed not only somebody’s belly, but their dignity, their mind, their happiness”, chef Mario Batali said.

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Jon Bon Jovi with his wife Dorothea, fromer US President Bill Clinton and Bono Vox in New York, 2009 © Jamie McCarthy/WireImage for BWR

Bon Jovi, the philanthroper

Bon Jovi, who sold 120 million records throughout his career, started to be involved in things other than music in 1992 during the Clinton campaign. Since then, Bill, with whom Bon Jovi had become close, has always supported him and so he did at the launch of the Soul Foundation.

On 4 November, Bon Jovi released his 13th studio album This House Is Not For Sale, which marks the band’s comeback after the 2013 split with historic guitarist Richie Sambora. But Jon isn’t longing to perform in a concert tour, he prefers to spend his days at home with Dorothea and his four kids helping people in need: “We’re on the doorstep of doing this on a grand scale and it will be wonderful”.

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