Brad Paisley and his wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley are giving back to their Nashville community in a big way.
The couple have partnered with Belmont University to open a grocery store, appropriately called The Store, that will give away fresh and non-perishable food items to people in need for one year.
The aim, according to The Tennessean, is to provide the open pantry service for up to 3,000 individuals per year.
“This is a grocery store with dignity for people who have fallen on hard times,” Paisley said. “All of us are one unforeseen disaster away from rock bottom. It’s nice to think about a place where when that happens to someone, they can use it to get back on their feet.”
“Customers” of The Store will be referred through various non-profit and government agencies in the Nashville area.
According to Paisley and Williams, the inspiration for The Store came from a similar organization in Santa Barbara, Cal., called Unity Shoppe, where they volunteered with their sons at Thanksgiving.
“It was inspiring because these people have dignity,” Paisley recalled. “It’s not a scene from ‘Oliver Twist’. These people are able to sit there and feel very, very normal in the eyes of their kids. I remember … thinking, Why isn’t this everywhere? Essentially, we got this idea that it could be a very effective thing in Nashville.”
Williams added, “So many people are making great choices in their lives. It’s not like they’ve made major mistakes, they just need a little extra help and we want to be a resource for those people.”