Brad Paisley is Opening a Free Grocery Store For Those in Need
The singer and his wife are giving back in a big way.
Country music star Brad Paisley and his wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, are opening a grocery store in Nashville, Tennessee.
This isn’t an ordinary store, though—the nonprofit will allow people who have fallen on hard times to shop in dignity for their basic needs.
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Individuals and families will be referred by nonprofit and government agencies for a term of one year. The initial goal is to serve 3,000 people per year.
The Store is inspired by Unity Shoppe, a California nonprofit with a similar concept.
“We took our boys to Unity Shoppe to teach them about serving others and giving back to people in need,” Paisley said in a news release. “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.”
The Store will partner with a local food bank to provide perishable and non-perishable offerings that follow guidelines set by dieticians.
“We loved seeing parents making choices for their own families, rather than receiving a bag of food they might not necessarily want or need,” Williams-Paisley says. “We got very excited about bringing the concept of a free grocery store back home to our Nashville community.”
The Nashville power couple is opening the nonprofit in association with Paisley’s alma mater, Belmont University.
“At Belmont we believe that the greatest privilege that anyone can ever have is to be in a position to help and serve another person,” said Belmont University President Dr. Bob Fisher. “Brad and Kim are living out that mission in an extraordinary fashion in every aspect of their lives, particularly through the creation of The Store. We are proud to partner with them on this initiative, and I’m excited to watch as our current students pour their gifts and abilities into supporting the needs of The Store’s patrons.”
The “Brick By Brick Campaign” will raise funds for construction of the storefront and establish enough funding to meet the proposed operational needs for food, according to the news release. Donations are accepted via The Store's website.
“If a major donor would like to partner and help us fund the building, we would be honored to put their name in bold letters at the top of it,” says Paisley.
Organizers plan to break ground in 2019.
“We want The Store to be a cheerful, safe place for volunteers as well as for people who are struggling,” Paisley explained. “We want those who are referred to our program to show up and feel dignity.”