Brad Paisley made a virtual appearance on the Today show on April 20 to chat about his new single, “No I in Beer,” and his new nonprofit, The Store—a free grocery store in Nashville that serves individuals and families experiencing food insecurities and financial hardship.
Brad and wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley teamed up with Belmont University and Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee to create The Store, which was slated to open in mid-April, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and recent tornado devastation in Middle Tennessee, the grocery store opened one month early in mid-March.
“We had about a week of operating like we expected when we opened in March, and here we are opening something like this when, basically, all hell breaks loose,” said Brad on Today. “Now we’re already serving three times the amount of people we expected right away. We thought we would soft roll this thing out, like a slow build to what we would become, and all of the sudden we’re kind of thrown into the fire with it, but it’s really going well so far—knock on wood—I think.”
The Store operates as a year-round free grocery store that allows people to shop for their basic needs. Clients will be given the opportunity to come to The Store for a one-year period. There is no charge to those referred or to the people and agencies that send them. They may shop for food to supplement their income during times of crisis and as they work toward self-sufficiency. Brad and Kimberly were inspired to get involved in the Nashville project after volunteering at a similar organization, Unity Shoppe, in Santa Barbara, Calif.
The Store is located at 2005 12th Ave. S. in Nashville.
photo by Curtis Hilbun, AFF-USA.com