Jon Bon Jovi Offers Free Meal To Furloughed Federal Employees

Jon Bon Jovi at the Heart Foundation 20th Anniversary Event at the Green Acres Estate on May 21, 2016, in Beverly Hills, California.
Jason Kempin / Getty Images for the Heart Foundation

Rock star and philanthropist Jon Bon Jovi wants to make sure that furloughed federal employees and their families have a nutritious, hot meal this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day — so he’s going to provide them with food himself.

On Saturday, January 19, the Bon Jovi frontman revealed that his community restaurant, JBJ Soul Kitchen, in Red Bank, New Jersey, will be serving free meals to federal workers who have not been paid since President Donald Trump shut down non-essential government offices.

The eatery owned by the musician and his wife, Dorothea, will be presenting lunch to affected people on Monday, January 21, from 12 to 2 p.m. To take advantage of the charitable offer, proof of federal employment is required.

“Since founding the Soul Kitchen, we wanted to ensure that anyone struggling with food insecurity had a place to go,” said Bon Jovi and his wife in a statement, according to NBC New York.

“This Monday, we will be open for lunch as a way to create a place of support and resources for furloughed workers, many of whom are our friends and neighbors… We look forward to giving back in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and his wife, Tammy, are helping fund the special luncheon via their Murphy Family Foundation.

Jon Bon Jovi at the grand opening celebration of the JBJ Soul Kitchen on October 19, 2011, in Red Bank, New Jersey.
  John W. Ferguson / Getty Images

If you are in need and can’t make it to the restaurant this time, the JBJ Soul Kitchen stated in a press release that “the schedule of additional meals will be determined by turnout, feedback, and demand, and will be announced at a later date.”

NBC New York reported that about 800,000 employees have been affected by the federal government shutdown, which began on December 22.

The JBJ Soul Kitchen, which opened in October of 2011, is a place where hungry people can get healthy and balanced three-course meals, including soup or salad, an entree, and dessert. Most of the dishes prepared contain natural, locally sourced ingredients, including many from the Soul Kitchen’s own organic garden.

There are no set prices on the menu. Instead, diners are encouraged to donate what they can or volunteer their time with the organization to help others in need. The restaurant also raises funds to help the operation via tax-deductible donations made on its website and fundraising events. More information can be found online at JBJSoulKitchen.org.

Meanwhile, Jon Bon Jovi has been busy promoting the rosé company, Hampton Water, he created with his son, Jesse Bongiovi, and French winemaker Gerard Bertrand. The beverage was ranked the top rosé of 2018 by Wine Spectator, and No. 83 on the magazine’s list of the Top 100 Wines of 2018.

The band Bon Jovi will be back on the road later this year. They have dates scheduled in Europe starting on May 31 in Moscow, Russia.