Brad + Kimberly Williams Paisley’s Free Nash. Grocery Store Earns Major Grant
In the spring of 2019, Brad Paisley and his wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, officially broke ground on The Store, a free grocery store set to benefit Nashville families in need. Now, the project will receive a $1.5 million 2Gen Family Wellbeing grant from the Department of Human Services.
Funds from the grant will support The Store's mission of providing food while maintaining a dignified shopping experience for low-income families. The money will also benefit the work of the Belmont Ministry Center, which works to provide food for those in need along with health services, nutritional education, legal aid, mental health services and even music therapy.
The Store will be located on the campus of Belmont University, Paisley's alma mater. In a statement on the university's website, President Dr. Bob Fisher explains that the grant will help further Belmont's commitment to the surrounding community.
"Through the work of our Ministry Center and our partnership with Brad and Kimberly on The Store, Belmont is deeply committed to providing services to underserved children and families in our community, and this 2Gen grant from the Tennessee Department of Human Services will significantly enhance the scope and delivery of the services we offer," Fisher states. "We are grateful from their belief in our work, and I'm excited to witness how this grant expands the impact our students, faculty and staff can have on our neighbors."
The Store will serve as a year-round grocery store, in which everything will be free for Nashville residents in need. In addition to groceries, the store will feature a seasonal holiday toy aisle, on-the-job training and other services. Individuals and families will be referred by non-profit and government agencies for a one-year term.
"Our goal is to give dignity to parents. They can go to the Store and shop in a completely normal way, from choosing the food to checking out, but with no money exchanging hands," Paisley explained when the new project was first announced. "The kids can even ride a mechanical pony out in front of the store -- no charge. Kids do not need the stress of wondering how their parents are going to feed them."
Brad Paisley + Kimberly Williams-Paisley Celebrate the Store's Groundbreaking