New Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen to open in Toms River
A Jersey rocker's mission to provide community fellowship and high-quality meals for the cost of a donation or volunteer service will be expanding its reach.
The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, which opened its first JBJ Soul Kitchen in Red Bank three years ago, plans to open a community kitchen in Toms River.
According to the Red Bank location's website, Soul Kitchens have no menu prices, to help the fiscally challenged, and the restaurants try to serve organic produce whenever possible. If you sit down to eat, you just might be seated with someone in the community you don't know, regardless of economic status.
Toms River Mayor Tom Kelaher said the expansion of the Soul Kitchen to Toms River has actually been in the planning stages for a couple of years, with Superstorm Sandy serving as the catalyst for the idea to expand to Ocean County. However, the operators of the Soul Kitchen wanted to keep their plans under wraps until the details were close to finalization.
"Bon Jovi is very concerned that they're gonna go into an area, that if word gets out of who they are, people could jack up the prices for leases or land sales," Kelaher said.
According to Kelaher, plans for the JBJ Soul Kitchen started when the person the township hired to organize and distribute Superstorm Sandy donations got to know members of the Bon Jovi Foundation through the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
There's no word yet on an address for the new Soul Kitchen. You can get future information about the Toms River opening by clicking here.
Bon Jovi's foundation is also planning to replicate its community kitchen model in the Bayshore area at A Spoon Full of Hope, run by the Gateway Church in Union Beach.