Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation Launches Food Bank to Feed Long Island Families in Need
Dorothea and Jon Bon Jovi create JBJ Soul Kitchen Food Bank to serve communities across the East End of Long Island.
Due to the current COVID-19 crises, we are unable to have volunteers or accept food donations from individuals at the
JBJ Soul Kitchen Food Bank.
If you or someone you know are in need of food assistance,
please contact your local food pantry.
If you are a food pantry in need of help and are located in the East End, or are a business looking to donate, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Suffolk County, NY – May 11, 2020 – The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation announced the formation of the JBJ Soul Kitchen Food Bank to service East End food pantries. With local organizations struggling to meet rising need as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation has pledged to finance the food bank—which begins distributing food today—to bolster local efforts to combat food insecurity throughout the summer.
Dorothea and Jon Bon Jovi heard of East End pantries overwhelmed by growing demand, and, drawing upon their 15 years of experience in the areas of homelessness and hunger, the couple called upon local community leaders, food banks and pantry operators to create a plan.
“The pandemic has strained food distribution networks around the country, and after hearing from organizations on the ground about its local impact, the need for a food bank on the East End became clear to us,” said Jon Bon Jovi.
In the span of three short weeks, the JBJ Soul Foundation contracted with food distributor US Foods and forged an association with Island Harvest Food Bank, a leading Long Island hunger-relief organization, whose technical expertise and knowledge of the needs of the East End community has been an invaluable resource. Jon and Dorothea then met with the Scott Rubenstein family who donated space at The Clubhouse for this effort. Different from a pantry, the JBJ Soul Kitchen Food Bank is a charitable entity that solicits, receives, stores and distributes large quantities of purchased or donated food and grocery products to the community through food pantries.
“When most people think about the towns of the East End, they don’t necessarily think about hunger, but for many, it is a reality,” said Dorothea Bongiovi.
“No ZIP code on Long Island is immune to hunger and food insecurity, and the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis has created a new standard of need, including among people who have never accessed the region’s emergency feeding programs,” said Randi Shubin Dresner, president & CEO, Island Harvest Food Bank. “We look forward to working with the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation in addressing the critical issue of hunger on Long Island’s East End to make sure that no one goes hungry.”
“Since the COVID-19 crisis began, we have seen demand nearly triple from the after-school families and senior populations we serve. Before, we served approximately 70 people on the first Thursday of every month. Now we serve approximately 200 people per week,” states Bonnie Cannon, Executive Director of the Bridgehampton Child Care Center, a local youth and community organization working to feed underserved communities. “I am so glad to be part of this endeavor.”
Working with several pantries, the JBJ Soul Kitchen Food Bank aims to provide food for 5,000 individuals monthly, with plans to reassess need at the end of the summer. It will also be adding pre-made Soul Kitchen meals for those struggling with homelessness or who might not have access to cooking facilities. Food and essential items will continue to be distributed among community members through existing food pantries, all in accordance with established protocols recommended by public health experts.