Did you know that 14 percent of American families struggle to put food on the table? According to a 2015 U.S. Department of Agriculture report, 17.4 million people experience “a reduced quality… diet [and/]or disrupted eating patterns” each and every year. And the reason is financial. Many simply cannot afford to feed themselves and their kids. But Brad Paisley and wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley are working to change all that.
The pair is teaming up with Belmont University to open a grocery store called The Store, where all the items will be free.
According to People, The Store — which will be set up in Nashville, Tennessee — will serve both fresh and shelf-stable foods to people in need.
The Store is similar to your average food bank, at least in regard to its aim and mission. However, it will be laid out like a grocery store.
“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.”
In addition to food and drinks, The Store will have a toy aisle for kids and will offer a year-round job-training program.
Paisley and Williams-Paisley came up with the idea for The Store after volunteering at the Unity Shoppe in Santa Barbara, California. The Unity Shoppe is a food bank that is also set up like a grocery store.
“I remember… thinking, ‘Why isn’t this everywhere?’” Paisley told People, and “essentially, we got this idea that it could be a very effective thing in Nashville.”
That said, The Store hasn’t opened yet. While a location has been chosen — The Store will be located at 2005 12th Ave. S. in Nashville — and the Paisley and Williams-Paisley hope to serve 3,000 people during The Store’s inaugural year, The Store needs $500,000 to break ground.
The total construction cost will be about $1.2 million.
So, if you are interested in supporting this amazing cause, visit thestore.org and donate now. Every dollar helps.