jbj-soul-kitchen-101911-500x375Jon Bon Jovi’s JBJ Soul Kitchen is the site of a local initiative in the YMCA New Jersey Youth and Government Day of Service program, on Saturday, December 14.

From press materials furnished by YMCA New Jersey

For years, the YMCA New Jersey Youth and Government program has existed as a vehicle for promoting teen leadership and civil responsibility, through such experiences as mock legislative and court sessions, as well as exercises in which teens role-play as members of the press or lobby firms.

Last year, the program directors started a new initiative known as the Youth and Government Day of Service, in which volunteer “delegates” visit and assist local soup kitchen and food bank operations throughout the Garden State. As 2013 enters its final weeks, the Y teens make their first trip to Red Bank — with the Day of Service site designated as JBJ Soul Kitchen.

The pay-what-you-can (or work-it-off), not-for-profit restaurant founded by community-minded classic rocker Jon Bon Jovi will host the delegates during its hours of operation on Saturday, December 14. It’s part of an enhanced effort about which program spokesperson Carter Coudriet says, “We were able to send nearly 100 delegates to eight food banks and soup kitchens, and this year’s leadership has already expanded the Day of Service program to engage delegates throughout the year.”

Soul Kitchen offers Saturday seatings between the hours of 5 pm and 7 pm.