Brad Paisley and his wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley have opened a grocery store that will provide food to those in need for free. Called “The Store,” it is a new take on the traditional food pantry, and is set up like a grocery store. “The Store” will give individuals and families who are referred by either nonprofit or government agencies, free food for a year, and organizers are hoping to help 3,000 people each year. The idea of The Store came from the Unity Shoppe in Santa Barbara, California, where the Paisleys took their sons to the shop to volunteer. While they intended to teach their sons about helping others, Paisley said: “it was inspiring because these people have dignity. These people are able to sit there and feel very, very normal in the eyes of their kids. I remember … thinking, ‘Why isn’t this everywhere?’ Essentially, we got this idea that it could be a very effective thing in Nashville.” The Store will not just be for groceries; for example for the holidays, there will be a toy aisle, filled with new, unopened toys that families can shop for. Construction of The Store is expected to begin next year, depending on funding. Total construction to cost about $1.2 million with an additional $800,000 two-year operating fund.
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