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“When I learned that one in six people in this country goes to bed hungry, I thought this was the next phase of the foundation’s work,” he said.

It took a year and $250,000, but the restaurant now rivals any of its competitors in trendy Red Bank, with entrees like cornmeal crusted catfish with red beans and rice, grilled chicken breast with homemade basil mayo and rice pilaf, and grilled salmon with soul seasonings, sweet potato mash and sauteed greens, many of which were grown in the herb and vegetable garden right outside the restaurant’s doors.

Mr. Bon Jovi, who has a home in next-door Middletown, is adamant about one thing.

“This is not a soup kitchen,” he emphasizes. “You can come here with the dignity of linens and silver, and you’re served a healthy, nutritious meal. This is not burgers and fries.

“There’s no prices on our menu, so if you want to come and you want to make a difference, leave $20 in the envelope on the table. If you can’t afford to eat, you can bus tables, you can wait tables, you can work in the kitchen as a dishwasher or sous chef,” he said.

After volunteering, a person will be given a certificate good for a meal at the Soul Kitchen.

“If you come in and say, ‘I’m hungry,’ we’ll feed you,” Mr. Bon Jovi said. “But we’re going to need you to do something. It’s very important to what we’re trying to achieve.”

Springsteen documents headed to N.J. university

A New Jersey university will be the new home for nearly 15,000 documents associated with Bruce Springsteen, according to the Associated Press.

Books, concert programs, magazines and newspaper articles formerly kept at the Asbury Park Public Library will be moved to Monmouth University in West Long Branch on Nov. 1.

The material has outgrown the library, which offered viewing by appointment only.

The university’s Bruce Springsteen Special Collection will be accessible to anyone and have enough space for it to grow to include recordings, film footage and other documents.

Monmouth University President Paul Gaffney II said the school’s music industry students will benefit greatly from having access to the documents.

The university is about five miles from Asbury Park, where Mr. Springsteen performed in his early days.