TOMS RIVER, NJ – On Saturday, October 7th, JBJ Soul Kitchen Toms River hosted their 8th Annual Chili Cookoff, a heartfelt tribute to the service of first responders across New Jersey. Presented by Vydia, this fundraising event brought together the community to not only celebrate first responders but also to support JBJ Soul Kitchen’s mission of addressing food insecurity.
New Jersey first responders from fire departments, EMS, police, and First Aid Squads showcased their chili recipes. Attendees sampled the chili entries and cast their votes for their favorites.
Congratulations to the 8th Annual Chili Cookoff champions!
1st Place: Union Beach Police Department
2nd Place: Rutgers University Police Department
3rd Place: Newark Fire Department
Best Table: Rutgers University Police Department
Best Dressed: Toms River Police Department
Guitar Raffle: Barbra F.
50/50 Winner: Joanne W.
The event featured JBJ Soul Kitchen appetizers, including various smoked meats flavored with our JBJ Soul Seasoning. The day was filled with exciting and fun activities for all! Thanks to our community partners—Fulfill People’s Pantry, Applaud Our Kids, NJ singer/songwriter Michael Rainone, and Empty Bowls—for their awesome support and contributions to the event.
Fulfill People’s Pantry collected enough food and funds to provide almost 1,900 meals to our neighbors in need.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of our 8th Annual Chili Cookoff—participants, attendees, staff, volunteers, partners, and a special thank you to our Presenting Sponsor, Vydia! This event means so much to us, as we celebrate and acknowledge the dedicated service of first responders throughout New Jersey.
As a crucial part of the ongoing mission of the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, events like these play a vital role in breaking the cycle of hunger, poverty and homelessness in our community.