NEWARK — New Jersey rock star and philanthropist Jon Bon Jovi and his wife on Wednesday opened their third pay-what-you-want restaurant in the state — this one on the campus of Rutgers University-Newark.

The campus restaurant aims to help students and neighbors struggling to make ends meet.

The restaurants suggest paying $12 per meal as well as donating more for others who may not be able to afford to give. The restaurant at the Paul Robeson Campus Center will accept university dining credits in addition to cash and credit cards.

Student who cannot afford to pay are asked to pay it forward by volunteering at the restaurant.

Governor Phil Murphy attends the opening of JBJ Soul Kitchen at Rutgers Newark on January 22, 2020.(Edwin J. Torres/ Governor's Office)

The first JBJ Soul Kitchen opened in Red Bank in 2009. A second opened in Toms River.

"When you send your kids off to school, you don't think about, after tuition, books, living, what's left for food," Bon Jovi said last year during an interview announcing the third restaurant. "And so few are on meal plans to begin with. And that's another reason why they're eating ramen noodles. We all think it's the right of passage — to study hard and eat the ramen noodles. But how about if it's the only thing you can afford."

Governor Phil Murphy attends the opening of JBJ Soul Kitchen at Rutgers Newark on January 22, 2020.(Edwin J. Torres/ Governor's Office)
Governor Phil Murphy attends the opening of JBJ Soul Kitchen at Rutgers Newark on January 22, 2020.(Edwin J. Torres/ Governor's Office)
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Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email sergio.bichao@townsquaremedia.com.