Last year, Brad Paisley and his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, announced plans to open a free grocery store in Nashville for those in need. Named The Store, the establishment will be a food pantry modeled as a grocery store. The project is in partnership with Belmont University, Paisley's alma mater. On Wednesday (April 3), the couple broke ground on the building.
Paisley even did some heavy lifting himself, operating a backhoe during the groundbreaking ceremony.
Last year, Paisley told The Tennessean that the purpose of The Store is to help those who've fallen on difficult times by treating them with kindness and dignity.
"This is a grocery store with dignity for people who have fallen on hard times," Paisley told The Tennessean. "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."
The store will be located at 2005 12th Ave on the campus of Belmont University. In partnership with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, The Store will offer fresh and non-perishable foods to those in need for one year. Non-profit organizations and government agencies will refer customers to the free grocery store.
The couple was inspired to launch a free store for those in need after taking their kids to volunteer at Unity Shoppe in Santa Barbara, California.
In addition to free groceries, The Store will offer free school clothing and supplies, job training and other essentials. The goal of The Store is to serve at least 3,000 people a year.
To donate to The Store's Brick by Brick campaign, visit here.