As coronavirus spread across the United States in March 2020, and numerous services shut down across cities, a number of people stepped up to help. Those people included rock star Jon Bon Jovi.
Our readers sent us a photograph of a man who looked like the singer scrubbing dishes in a restaurant kitchen.
The rumor has been circulating as recently as October 2021 on Facebook. This was indeed the rock star himself. He posted the photograph in March 2020 to his personal Instagram account. It was also shared on the Instagram account of JBJ Soul Kitchen Food Bank in Red Bank, New Jersey. Both photos had the caption, “If you can't do what you do...do what you can.”
The JBJ Soul Kitchen is run by the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, and is a community restaurant that doesn’t charge for meals. They ask patrons to donate to cover their meal and that of anyone who is in need. Before the pandemic struck, diners were also given the option to volunteer time and work for their meal.
In the early days of the pandemic, the kitchen could only serve takeout, and found itself functioning without enough volunteers. So Bon Jovi himself stepped in to lend a hand. According to CNN, he helped out five days a week until July 2020 when restrictions eased. In March 2020, the restaurant also noted on their Instagram page: “Due to food demand, the menu will be limited. If you are struggling to feed yourself or your family, we are a resource to you.”
As of four days ago, the restaurant is up and running again, serving customers on site:
Breen, Kerry. “Jon Bon Jovi Washes Dishes to Help Feed the Hungry amid COVID-19 Pandemic.” TODAY.Com, https://www.today.com/popculture/jon-bon-jovi-washes-dishes-feed-hungry-amid-covid-19-t176535. Accessed 11 Oct. 2021.
Torgan, Allie. “From Rock Superstar to All-Star Dishwasher, Jon Bon Jovi Is Keeping His Community Fed.” CNN, https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/09/us/bon-jovi-new-jersey-meals-pandemic-cnnheroes/index.html. Accessed 11 Oct. 2021.