Brad Paisley is doing his part to give back! The country singer and his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, have officially broken ground on their free grocery store, in Nashville, Tennessee, which is a referral-based supermarket that will provide no-charge eats to those in need for one year.
At the groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, April 3, the 46-year-old musician even got behind the wheel of a backhoe to clear the way for the establishment, which will be known simply as “The Store.”
“I think it’s gonna be really interesting to see what this looks like when we’re done, not just in building form, but in how it works, and so much of that is going to come down to the fact that we have such a generous partner in Belmont giving us this opportunity that not only will these people be served but they will be served by students, for the most part,” he explained at Wednesday’s event.
In October 2018, the Paisleys announced they joined forces with Belmont University, of which the Grammy winner is an alum, to create “The Store.” The initiative was inspired by a trip to a California nonprofit organization the Paisleys took with their sons, Huck, 12, and Jasper, 10.
“We took our boys to Unity Shoppe to teach them about serving others and giving back to people in need,” the “Remind Me” singer noted at the time. “And we came away surprised by what the organization had taught us. Most people don’t want handouts. They want dignity and respect. Most people want to become self-sufficient.”
Roughly 1 in 7 adults and 1 in 5 children in Nashville deal with “food insecurity”, which means they don’t always know where their next meal is coming from.
Now that the store is officially under construction, Williams-Paisley, 47, is eager to see how it will help the people of Nashville. “We love this idea of a free grocery store where people can come in and make choices for their families, and kids can see their parents in a position of power,” the Father of the Bride actress said at the groundbreaking ceremony. “We really want to get people before it’s a major crisis, we want to help people in this gap where they’re trying to get back on their feet and they just need a little bit of extra help.”
What separates “The Store” from food banks or pantries is that it will provide those who are referred by nonprofit and government agencies with healthy foods they need. In fact, all of the foods at the store will meet dietary guidelines created by dietitians from the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.
Furthermore, the Paisleys wish to eventually expand services provided by “The Store” to include job training, as well as cooking and nutrition classes.
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