South O’ the Highway

Jon Bon Jovi Provides Free Lunch for Federal Workers During Shutdown

JBJ Soul Kitchen served food on MLK Day and on Wednesday, January 23.

East Hamponite Jon Bon Jovi is teaming up with the Murphy Family Foundation to become the hand that feeds.

On Martin Luther King Day, his Red Bank, New Jersey community restaurant, JBJ Soul Kitchen, served free lunch to federal workers and their families, who have been without pay for a month due to the partial government shutdown. And they did it again today, Wednesday, January 23.

To announce the first event, JBJ Soul Kitchen posted an Instagram photo on January 19 with the necessary information, along with a caption that read, “In line with our mission, federal workers are encouraged to join us for a delicious meal and to learn about additional support and resources available in our community.”

Bon Jovi and his wife, Dorothea Bon Jovi, say the goal of JBJ Soul Kitchen was always to ensure sanctuary to those suffering from food insecurity, and it meant so much to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by providing for their friends and neighbors.

On Tuesday, January 22, JBJ Soul Kitchen posted another Instagram photo announcing the same deal for today—this time their second location in Toms River, New Jersey.


How long these lunches will continue will likely depend on the duration of the shutdown. “Too many working families in New Jersey struggle to make ends meet every day, and just one missed paycheck can mean financial catastrophe,” Murphy Family Foundation founders Phil and Tammy Murphy write on the JBJ Soul Foundation website (jonbonjovisoulfoundation.org). “We are committed to doing everything we can to help hard-working federal employees, who have now been out of work a full month, through this prolonged and meaningless shutdown. Until this shutdown ends, it is incumbent upon all of us to help our fellow New Jerseyans through this difficult time.”

JBJ Soul Kitchen is a non-profit community restaurant that functions through donations and volunteering. In addition to providing food, the restaurant in Red Bank serves as a warming center for the homeless during Code Blues (when the temperature dips below freezing).

Nothing warms the hearts this winter more than this East Ender using his resources to help those who suffer from things beyond their control. He might be surprised to learn that his town here, East Hampton, also has a significant homeless population. How about a JBJ Soul Kitchen in East Hampton?

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