Country pop star Brad Paisley is hoping to give folks down in Nashville, Tennessee something to smile about in these culturally trying times. The country singer and guitarist and his wife Kim will partner with Belmont University to open a free grocery store/food pantry in Nashville, local media outlet The Tennessean reports.
According to the report, the new food Store will be located in proximity to Belmont University’s Ministry Center in the Belmont neighborhood of southern Nashville. Food products will be provided by Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee as well as similar philanthropic organizations in hopes of providing both fresh produce and non-perishable food supplies for potentially up to 3,000 people in the Nashville area for up to a year. These won’t just benefit anyone hoping to snag a free meal, however, as potential customers must be referred in by government and other nonprofit agencies.
The Store will offer job training to new employees and has yet to receive an official name. The venue will be designed (for free) by a locally-based architectural firm and depending on when the projected funding can come through, workers will break ground for the project beginning sometime next year. The permanent brick and mortar store will also set up a toy aisle over the holidays to ensure that families in all income levels will be able to provide their loved ones with donated, unopened toys.
“This is a grocery store with dignity for people who have fallen on hard times,” Paisley said in a statement about the new venture. “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.”
Inspiration for the project came to Paisley after visiting a similar establishment in California in hopes of teaching his and Kim’s children about the power of volunteering and what stores like this mean to those who may not be as monetarily fortunate.
Paisley will be part of Will Ferrell's recently announced Best Night of Your Life all-star charity benefit Cancer for College, with the show taking place Oct. 6 at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. Tickets can be purchased here.
Fans can also click here to learn more about The Store and its hopes of opening in 2019. The proposed design for the Store can also be seen in the drawing below.