Country star Brad Paisley and his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, are part of a team which has broken ground a new grocery store meant to help Nashville families in need. Dubbed simply The Store, all the food it “sells” will be 100-percent free.
Created by the Paisleys in partnership with Belmont University, The Store is meant to let people in crisis shop for basic necessities with dignity. Patrons will need to be referred to the service by nonprofit or government agencies for one year at a time, but once they are accepted may shop for free. According to Kimberly, The Store is meant to be a hand up, not a hand out.
“I’m so excited to be here and see this dream come to fruition,” she says. “In Nashville there are 1 in 7 people and 1 in 5 children that have food insecurity. That means they don’t know where they are going to get their next meal. The Store will be another resource to help families and individuals going through a hard time but working toward self-sufficiency.”
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We are happy to announce we broke ground on THE STORE today!! I loved seeing so much support from the community and meeting some of the people we will hopefully be able to serve with our free grocery (Yes clearly I need to work on my hard hat skillz. Good thing I’ll leave the building to the professionals at @jandsconstruction ). Become a part of The Store with our brick campaign! See link in profile for more info! 🍏 🍎 @thestore_nashville @belmontu
“Our goal is to give dignity to parents,” Brad adds. “They can go to The Store and shop in a completely normal way, from choosing the food to checking out, but with no money exchanging hands. The kids can even ride a mechanical pony out in front of The Store – no charge. Kids do not need the stress of wondering how their parents are going to feed them. In Nashville we have the power of the benevolence of the residents to support The Store.”
Second Harvest Food Bank will supply food for The Store, which will stand at 2005 12th Ave. South, next to the University’s Ministry Center. Building costs are expected reach $1.5 Million, and a fund raising “Brick Campaign” has been started to offset the expense. A limited number of bricks are available to purchase for $500 each, which will then be used to build a sidewalk outside The Store. Construction is expected to finish by the end of 2019, and the founders – which also include ESa, Sysco Corporation and Amerigroup Corporation – plan to add job training, cooking and nutrition classes to The Store’s mission in the future.
See more photos from the groundbreaking below…