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The Food is Free at Bon Jovi's

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Bon Jovi opens free restaurant for families hit hard by recession

The food at Soul Kitchen is free in exchange for volunteer work.

Many families in New Jersey are thankful for Jon Bon Jovi this year. The rocker's charity restaurant in his native state has become an instant hit as those hit hard by the recession dine out to help each other through tough times.

The singer's Soul Kitchen initiative was inspired by a news item Bon Jovi saw on TV about how dining out gave struggling families a real lift.

And the rock star decided to set up a "food bank" linked to a New Jersey soup kitchen, where families could eat for free in return for volunteer work.

He explains, "You come and there's no prices on the menu, so the dignity of a family having this wonderful experience together (is restored)... and if you can't pay, you volunteer... either in the food pantry or in the kitchen or prepping.

"And if you can pay, you wanna see effective change, put a $20 (dollar bill) in the envelope because you've just paid for the meal for the family next to you."

And he insists he's no absentee boss - he, his wife, daughter and father all help out at The Soul Kitchen.

He adds, "If you ever wanna come and see me washing dishes, I'm really good at it."

Copyright World Entertainment News Network 2010

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