As if their free grocery store in Nashville didn't represent a good enough deed, country music star Brad Paisley and his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, are backing a Million Meal Donation tour that'll reach major cities across America.
The Paisley family's Tiller & Hatch food brand is teaming with Feeding America food banks to distribute one million pounds of food to needy families in various cities.
Paisley told the Associated Press (AP) that more than 54 million people have experienced food insecurity in 2020, including 18 million children.
"Now it's a matter of what's happening and trying to figure out how to not let people fall through the cracks," Paisley said in a recent interview with the AP. "It's been a lot of people who have been poor for a long time. But then, there are others who were financially sound six months ago, but now have fallen on hard times. We are seeing this firsthand. We are trying to meet their needs."
These numbers have been heightened by the many financial hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Since March, the couple's heard countless stories about how COVID-19's caused unexpected stress on families.
"So many of us feel helpless during this time," Williams-Paisley said. "It just feels like there's one disaster after another. One challenging situation after another. But it's been really wonderful for both of us to have this outlet that was coming into fruition. We can't solve all the problems. But to tackle this issue, it's been really empowering."
From the sound of things, beneficiaries of the couple's new initiative will be eating good, as the AP reports that some of the distributed meals will include artisanal pastas, hearty stews and flavorful soups. Outlets across the country are also reporting that the nutritional meals will be packed in semi-trucks with about 750,000 pounds of food to feed more than 60,000 families.
The food assistance initiative began last week in Detroit and has already reach such major cities as New York and Nashville.
The couple made national news headlines when they opened a free grocery store called The Store back in May in Nashville, Tenn. They got the idea after visiting a similar store in Santa Barbara, California.
Million Meal Donation Tour Dates:
Sept. 8 - Detroit, MI (Gleaners Community Food Bank)
Sept. 10 - New York, NY (Food Bank for NYC)
Bethel Heights, AK (Northwest Arkansas Food Bank)
Sept. 11 - Nashville, TN (Second Harvest Food Bank)
Minneapolis, MN (Second Harvest MN)
Sept. 14 - St. Louis, MO (STL Food Bank)
Sept. 15 - Houston, TX (Houston Food Bank)
Sept. 16 - Los Angeles, CA (LA Regional Food Bank)
Cincinnati, OH (Freestore Foodbank Cincinnati)
Sept. 17 - Miami, FL (Feeding South Florida)
Lake Charles, LA (Second Harvest Food Bank)
Cleveland, OH (Greater Cleveland Food Bank)
Atlanta, GA (Atlanta Community Food Bank)
Sept. 18 - Dallas, TX (North Texas Food Bank)
Sept. 21 - Chicago, IL (Greater Chicago Food Depository)