An anniversary party at the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen in Red Bank means plenty of chili, first responders who are cooking the chili and a fair amount of Bon Jovis.
It happened Saturday, Oct. 10 as the Soul Kitchen began it's 4th anniversary celebration with its annual JBJ Soul Kitchen Kickoff Cook-Off. Rocker Jon Bon Jovi was there to taste the chili, take pics and say hello to fans and first responders. His wife, Dorothea Bongiovi, the one who conceived the idea of a Soul Kitchen, and Bon Jovi's dad John Bongiovi, made the scene as well.
The winners were the Union Beach Fire Daprtment, who took first place for the second year in a row. The Toms River Police Department took the silver, the MONOC EMS workers finished third and the Atlantic Highlands First Aid Department came in fourth.
The JBJ Soul Kitchen, opened in 2011 by the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, allows diners to contribute either volunteer hours or a minimum donation for their meals. About 47 percent of the customers volunteer hours. It's located at 207 Monmouth St. and open Wednesdays through Sundays.
In Union Beach, the JBJ Soul Kitchen sponsors Spoon Full of Hope serves dinners at the Union Hose Fire Co. 1 and the B.E.A.T. Center on Hooper Avenue in the Silverton section of Toms River, a community hub where families and individuals in need can access food, job training and other resources, is expected to open soon.