NEWARK — Jon Bon Jovi will open a location of his Soul Kitchen restaurant on the campus of Rutgers University's Newark campus in January — the third location in New Jersey

The new location will continue the policy of the existing locations in Red Bank and Toms River that allows customers to pay what they can for a meal, and to pay off their bills by volunteering at the restaurant. The restaurant suggests other customers pay a minimum of $12 per meal, and can give donations to cover others' meals.

The focus of the new location inside the Robeson Center will be helping students who may not be able to afford meals. Rutgers-Newark said recent national studies found that over 30 percent of students at four-year institutions experience food insecurity.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.

Jon and Dorthea Bon Jovi talked about the new location on CBS Sunday Morning.

"When you send your kids off to school, you don't think about, after tuition, books, living, what's left for food? 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," Jon said.

The new Soul Kitchen is scheduled to open to the public on Thursday, January 23.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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