Jon Bon Jovi’s restaurant is giving free meals to furloughed government workers


The government shut down is entering its fifth week, so federal employees are looking at a fifth week without pay. And the person responsible, the one with his thumb in his mouth, pouting in the Oval Office, is not providing a fast food bonanza for any of the thousands of people he’s starving. Fortunately, there are people who do care about their fellow Americans in this country. Jon Bon Jovi is one of those people. Jon and wife Dorthea have run the JBJ Soul Kitchen since 2011. The restaurant allows people to pay what they can for their food or they can volunteer for the meal instead. It’s a lovely concept and has been quite successful in its two locations in New Jersey. In honor of Martin Luther King Day yesterday, Jon, in partnership with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and his Murphy Family Foundation, fed all federal workers and their families for free at JBJ Soul Kitchen.

This is a beautiful gesture in addition to being a lovely way to honor Rev. Dr. King’s memory. According to their website, JBJ Soul Kitchen has served over 94,000 meals since they’ve opened. Since the ingredients used at JBJSK are locally sourced, it supports the community in two ways. Much respect to Jon and Dorthea. And to the Murphy’s for setting a good example of leadership for the state.

I get so filled with rage that so many people have to suffer as a result of #45’s ego. Some of those affected are having to choose between food or medication. So, I’m trying very hard to focus on the folks like Jon and his family who are stepping up to help out. And they are not the only ones. Chef José Andrés has organized #ChefsForFeds who are partnering with restaurants, kitchens and food trucks across the nation to try and keep federal employees fed. On a personal note, I’d like to give a shout out to all the trucks and folks who donated to the Tacos for Teachers gofundme to get lunch out to the Los Angeles Unified teachers on the picket lines.

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50 Responses to “Jon Bon Jovi’s restaurant is giving free meals to furloughed government workers”

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  1. greenmonster says:

    I was a huge Bon Jovi fan in the late 80′s and esp. early 90′s, but haven’t bought a record in almost two decades. I might have to change that.

    • Bettyrose says:

      I sang along with Bon Jovi on the radio in the 80s but I was never a big fan. Then about 10 years ago he came cashing onto my radar as an amzing person – and a stunning looker. I still only sing along to his music on the car radio, but I actually really like some of the more recent stuff, like the ‘We weren’t born to follow’ one.

    • lisa says:

      I love JBJ and all of his giving back….but, when did he turn into my grandmother?

  2. Girlplease says:

    At what point does Trump give in and face reality?

    • smcollins says:

      Never, because he doesn’t live in reality or possess any kind of empathy, compassion or self-awareness.

    • Elkie says:

      Trump lives in a world in which he is smart, successful, and physically irrestistable to the ladies. I doubt he’s capable of facing reality.


    • Robot Dog says:

      He’s an old,white trust fund baby; he’s never, ever faced reality in his life, and he’s got 30% of the country to help him keep it that way.

      I don’t even know anymore what it would take to get through to him. Other peoples’ suffering is winning to him, so all of the horrors of America, circa 2019, make him feel powerful.

      Mitch McTurtle could stop this at any time, but he’s enjoying the hell out of his power, too.

      It’s not just kompromat keeping them on this path at this point; it’s because they love it, and in some ways, that’s even more horrifying.

      One of my friends made a really good point the other day that after we (if we) ever get past the immediate dangers we’re in right now, we need a constitutional amendment guaranteeing our right to a government so it can never be shut down again. something like that would hopefully protect us from times like this, where all the mechanisms that are supposed to protect us have wilfully, gleefully failed.

      • Anna says:

        I’m not American, but my husband I over here in the UK were discussing this and I whole heartily agreed. There need to be an amendment and better safety check so people don’t get to suffer again like this.

      • me says:

        I wonder how the people who voted for Trump feel now? Do they have any remorse?

      • paranormalgirl says:

        No remorse. Still defending his sorry orange ass.

    • Megan says:

      The end game is to make the government seem irrelevant.The next wave of Republican messaging will be do we really need all these services? Is anyone (except for the 800,000 unpaid employees and countless unpaid government contractors) really suffering? Does anyone really miss government? This is how democracy dies.

      • lucy2 says:

        Serve them a salad on a plane, then tell them neither the lettuce nor the plane had ever been inspected, and see how comfortable they then feel.

      • Robot Dog says:

        Yep, already starting in some places. The cruelty’s a fringe benefit.

      • Esmom says:

        Yes. This is exactly what my town’s Tea Party-heavy elected officials tried to do, chipped away at services and nickel and dimed everything, including the library, calling it all “a frivolous use of taxpayer dollars.” And demonized public employees, denying them pay increases and trying to prevent them from unionizing.

        All because low voter turnout allowed the slimiest of right wingers pretending to be moderate to slide into office. Thank goodness people have woken up and things are turning around thanks to a new, progressive mayor and other officials who have been replaced with saner individuals. But this type of activity at the local level was a precursor for the rise of Trump and the GOP.

      • BeanieBean says:

        Completely agree. There are members of Congress, and the lobbyists who support them, who think there should be no public —federally owned/managed—lands. This is exactly the kind of thing they want to see. I am sick to my stomach over this.

  3. Jerusha says:

    Also, Colbert is selling Shutdown Coffee Mugs, with proceeds going to Chef Andres. I believe they’ve raised over $100,000, so far.

    • Megan says:

      I really hope Jose Andres wins the Noble Peace Prize.

    • lucy2 says:

      Chef Andres is WONDERFUL, he’s been helping so many people.
      Colbert has also been great in using his platform to raise money, for a long time now. I remember him doing great stuff for military families and teachers back on the Colbert Report.
      You can also donate directly to Chef Andres’ organization.

      • Megan says:

        He is opening 30 more Chefs for Feds around the country. He has also opened a food pantry in DC for federal workers. That an immigrant is feeding federal workers during this shutdown proves that Trump is irony proof.

  4. Miss M says:

    Very inspiring to see folks like Jon Bon Jovi and his wife helping out.

  5. SM says:

    This is wonderful. A side note – is that his family in a second pic from the bottom? He has four kids? I did not know that

  6. Incredulous says:

    I see they’ve cloned Jon except bigger.

    • Esmom says:

      Lol. I was kinda marveling at their size, too.

      Amazing gesture by Jon and Dorothea and Chef Jose and all the others reaching out with kindness and compassion and generosity while Trump and his minions revel in cruelty. I’m sliding into despondency about the state of our government.

  7. Slowsnow says:

    I am in Washington right now, flown from the UK for research in one of the Smithsonian’s institutions. Fortunately I can still come in because some people are not federal employees but the library with the books I wanted to consult is closed.
    Also, the furloughed people, some of which have become friends, are now having to borrow money to live.
    The mood is somber and stressed out. People keep apologizing to me! I am so sorry for these workers and for Americans. All Americans; because even the scum that votes for him are working against themselves.
    At the Women’s March this Saturday people were talking about Andrès and Bon Jovi. There ARE still good people. WE need to also acknowledge that. Thanks for this post.

  8. Ninks says:

    This is a really lovely thing for him to do.

    As an Irish person who pays attention to US politics, I am really astounded at the length of this shutdown. I can’t imagine in happening in Europe. If a government here decided not to pay its employees over a policy difference, there’s no way that people would continue to work for a month. They would have called a general strike on day one and shut the whole country down, and everybody would have supported them. I really can’t understand why that isn’t happening in the US.

    • IlsaLund says:

      I agree with you that a general strike by everyone is what’s needed. But Americans only care if something has a direct impact on their life. They’ve been brainwashed and conditioned to believe that government doesn’t matter….not understanding that government is that invisible entity that functions quietly in the background that keeps the country running. Americans have become sheeple and don’t understand the power they have in a united, not divided, country and that if we worked together, rather than against one another, we could reclaim our government.

      • me says:

        The government likes to keep people divided because it benefits them. If people actually banded together the government would literally sh*t their pants.

    • Some chick says:

      Most government workers are prohibited from striking. (Thanks, Reagan.) But apparently it is perfectly ok to lock them out or make them work unpaid. It’s asinine.

  9. Miss M says:

    Are there more Gofundme to Federal employees?

    • Muffy says:

      I live in area with military members who arent getting paid and the community is feeding them and providing nesessities.

    • me says:

      Be careful of Gofundme pages. Some are not legit. There are always people trying to scam nice people like you. There are, I am sure, non-government employees taking advantage of people’s generosity right now. Just do your research beforehand.

    • BeanieBean says:

      There are, but from the ethics guidance we’ve been given (I’m a furloughed fed), they’re a big no no. You cannot use your status as a government employee to solicit money. You cannot accept monetary donations. Gift cards @ $25 are ok. A meal is ok. A job is ok, as long as it’s not with a contractor who works with the feds. I’m guessing once we’re ALL back to work there will be some repercussions.

      • Miss M says:

        Thanks , everyone! I was refdering to gofundme like the “Tacos for teachers” that hecate mentioned in her post.
        @Beanie: great clarification.

    • GreenTurtle says:

      @Muffy, what do you mean by military employees who aren’t getting paid? DoD is fully funded. The Coast Guard is not getting paid, because it falls under DHS, but everyone else should be getting paid.

  10. Talita says:

    I’m so proud to be his fan! Yes, that’s his family. They have all these kids.

  11. Lala11_7 says:

    Jon Bon Jovi’s charity also offers these programs to the community:

    A cooking school, a food bank that distributes food to homeless people, after-school activities for at-risk children, a vocational training centre, healthcare and free tax preparation.

    Jon is a RIGHTEOUS BROTHER!!!!!!!

    • Esmom says:

      Righteous indeed. Amazing. Contrast that to the utterly useless and corrupt “charity” that Trump and his family purported to run, just to pay lip service to philanthropy.

    • lucy2 says:

      I love what he and his family have done for the community! I live nearby and have heard a lot about his restaurants.

      There are 2 Coast Guard stations near me, and they are all working without pay (and I mean WORKING, it’s freezing cold here and they are still out on the water). A few local restaurants are offering free meals, and some local organizations are collecting food, supplies, gift cards, etc. Bad times bring out the best in a lot of people.
      This bad time is a such a huge disgrace though, I’m raging. A good friend works at a federal prison, and has been working without pay too. These are not easy or terribly well paid jobs.

    • Usedtobe says:

      Wow!! What wonderful humans he and his wife are! Love that!

  12. Lindy says:

    I love that he’s doing this. I wish more of this were going on. But it’s disgusting that this is even necessary.

    Also, the first 5 minutes of Rachel Maddow last night were a discussion of how, if you wanted to cripple the FBI and your ongoing tweetstorms about their incompetence and bias weren’t really doing the trick, a very effective method would be to shut the government down for multiple pay periods.

    Her analysis is speculative but also chilling.

    I don’t even see how this is going to end, do y’all? Drumpf can’t give in now–even his very minor effort to offer something led to a frothing meltdown about him turning into Jeb Bush and being a coward.

    I support 100% the Dems refusing to negotiate with his terrorist tactics. If we give in to the wall now before he reopens the government, then he’ll just do this every time he wants something. But damn, y’all. People are hurting.

    • holly hobby says:

      Some people on Twitter are saying one way to make the pols come to an agreement would be a mass sick out at TSA. Air travel grounds to a halt and people will end it. Don’t see that happening so the other alternative is they tank the economy. The 1% start losing their money then they will fix it.

      I blame Myrtle McTurtle. Jerk won’t let them bring it to a vote. That rule needs to be changed. We are being held hostage by 2 limp dicks.

  13. tw says:

    Maybe we’ll see trump tossing canned food into a crowd of suffering federal workers. Thank you for the post. Been meaning to donate and will do so now.

  14. minx says:

    He’s a good guy.

  15. JadedBrit says:

    I think Trump has his thumb stuck somewhere quite different, Hecate…
    Those 84,000 votes (and the numerous States-wide sympathy) will have a discernible effect come election day.

  16. Nikki says:

    For YEARS Jon Bon Jovi’s restaurant has been giving free meals to people being served by Family Promise, an organization that helps homeless families get the resources and skills to move into permanent housing. I’ve never seen any publicity about it either; I only know because I volunteer with Family Promise, and once a week, our guests are given dinner at his restaurant. He’s a really, really nice guy. He was also nice to me when I was hired help at a party he was a guest at!

    • lucy2 says:

      That’s nice to hear! I’ve read about the restaurants, but didn’t realize Family Promise was involved too, that’s great. I participate in an art benefit for them every year.

  17. Sparkly says:

    I love Bon Jovi. He seems like he never let fame get to his head. He’s been with his wife forever, raised a family, and helps his community just for the sake of helping.

    • Keaton says:

      I was just about to say that I love that he and his wife are still together after all these years. So sweet. #CoupleGoals