Rock n’ roll star Jon Bon Jovi and his wife, Dorothea Hurley, are tackling a new challenge that has largely gone undetected on many college campuses — hunger. They’re doing this through a new venture via their JBJ Soul Kitchen series of restaurants.
Bon Jovi and Hurley are now working towards eradicating this silent struggle on college campuses, one university at a time.
The couple is opening an outpost on the campus of Rutgers University Newark, where the duo hopes to feed students struggling to pay for food.
The singer and musician, seated alongside his wife in an interview with CBS This Morning, revealed that once tuition, housing, and books are paid for, at times there are scarcely any funds left for students to add a necessary meal plan.
“We all think it’s a rite of passage,” Bon Jovi said of students in college, “to study hard and eat ramen noodles. How about if it’s the only thing you can afford?”
He is working with administrators at the school to encourage the institution to make it widely known there are resources available for students who may miss necessary nutrition while living away from home.
Bon Jovi said that he and his wife get fulfillment from the work they are doing to help those struggling to find a hot meal.
The couple created the first JBJ Soul Kitchen in 2011 in Red Bank, New Jersey, as a way to provide quality meals to anyone in need in the community. The method of paying for a meal is simple. Diners are asked to pay a suggested donation of $20 that covers their meal and someone else’s meal as well.
If a diner cannot pay, they’re asked to volunteer. Most of the labor is donated, as is nearly all of the food.
“Hunger doesn’t look like what your mind’s eye might imagine,” Hurley explained on the Sunday morning news show. “It’s the people at your church. It’s the kids that go to school with your kids. And I think that was eye-opening for a lot of the community here [in Red Bank] that said, ‘Oh, there are no homeless people here.'”
Hurley and Bon Jovi have also expanded to a second location in Toms River, New Jersey, and revealed they will keep opening more JBJ Soul Kitchens as long as there’s a need.
The fulfillment the singer and songwriter has received from his charity work is immeasurable.
“It gives you a sense of fulfillment. That’s what I say, the way to feel good is to do good. Find your good – and do it,” he explained.