Country music star Brad Paisley and his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, are spearheading the development of a new grocery store in Nashville, Tennessee — but this is no ordinary supermarket.
Instead, it will be devoted to helping people in need to shop for much-needed healthy food. On Wednesday, the couple announced that it teamed up with Belmont University, which is Paisley’s alma mater, to create “The Store.” The Store will allow families who are referred by nonprofit and government agencies to shop at the grocery free of charge for one year.
Unlike receiving a bag of food they may or may not need from a food bank, shoppers at The Store will be able to select nutritious items they need. Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee and other organizations will provide the food to the shop. All of the foods at The Store will meet dietary guidelines created by dietitians from the food bank.
The couple was inspired to develop the concept after volunteering with their two children at the Unity Shoppe, a 100-year-old free grocery store, in Santa Barbara, California.
“We took our boys to Unity Shoppe to teach them about serving others and giving back to people in need,” said Paisley 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.”