As the United States government stays shut down for an unprecedented 31st day in a row, the effects of the government stalemate are starting to be keenly felt among the 800,000 workers who now haven't been paid for over a month. It's a concerning state of affairs, but there's one music star doing his best to help people in his hometown who might not be able to put food on the table.
If you're a government worker living in New Jersey wondering where your next meal might be coming from, then it might be a good idea to head down to JBJ Soul Kitchen in one of their many locations around the state. Jon Bon Jovi is - of course - a New Jersey relative, and via Facebook, his restaurant announced they were going to do their best to feed some of the workers affected by the shutdown.
Partnering up with Phil and Tammy Murphy Family Foundation (which is an organisation founded by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy) in order to provide the meals, JBJ Soul Kitchen revealed that on Wednesday January 23 between midday and two o'clock, government workers would be able to pick up a good lunch.
"The JBJ Soul Kitchen and The Murphy Family Foundation would like to announce that the Soul Kitchen in Toms River, New Jersey will be open during normal lunch hours (11:30 - 3:00 PM) on January 23 and from 12:00 - 2:00 PM to provide meals for furloughed Federal workers and their families.
In line with our mission, Federal workers are encouraged to join us for a delicious meal and to learn about additional support and resources available in our community."
This comes hot on the heels of a similar promotion on Monday, when the JBJ in Red Bank gave out free food at a similar time, and as the shutdown rages on there could be more locations that'll offer free food for those unable to make money.
In a statement issued ahead of Martin Luther King Day, Jon Bon Jovi and his wife Dorothea Hurley underlined their support for the initiative, offering their sympathy to any workers who couldn't provide for their families during this rather turbulent time in US government.
"Since founding the Soul Kitchen, we wanted to ensure that anyone struggling with food insecurity had a place to go. This Monday, we will be open for lunch as a way to create a place of support and resources for furloughed federal workers, many of whom are our friends and neighbors.
We are thrilled to work together with Phil and Tammy Murphy on this endeavor, and this Monday we look forward to giving back in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."
It's a weird time at the moment for American politics, and it remains to be seen just how far-reaching and damaging the effects of this shutdown could prove to be. But for residents of New Jersey, Jon Bon Jovi is doing his best to ensure that government workers can still provide for those they love.