Country music star Brad Paisley and his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, are working to alleviate food insecurity in Nashville.
Their new project, "The Store," will be a place where underprivileged individuals and families will be able to "shop" for groceries without paying a dime.
Williams-Paisley talked about food insecurity with AP:
"Hunger and food insecurity is a real issue in Nashville. One in seven people deal with food insecurity. That means they don't know where their next meal is coming from. And it's even worse for kids, one in five children."
"The Store will be another resource to help families and individuals going through a hard time but working toward self-sufficiency."
The couple said that they got the idea for The Store when volunteering with their children at a similar organization: The Unity Shoppe in Santa Barbara, California.
The Store will allow people to shop for groceries just as they would in a regular grocery store, including going through the checkout line, but they will not be required to pay.
They Paisleys are partnering with Brad's alma mater, Belmont University, on the project. The Store will be staffed by Belmont students, and it is being built next to the school's ministry center.
Brad recently took control of a backhoe himself to break ground for the construction of the building that will house The Store.
President Barack Obama saw the story and shared it on Twitter with the comment "Here's a story about people doing good that's worth sharing".
Here’s a story about people doing good that's worth sharing: @BradPaisley and his wife @Kimwilliamspais saw food in… https://t.co/kMBFR3xzAA— Barack Obama (@Barack Obama)1554405825.0
Kimberly thanked him for sharing the story.
Thank you so much! https://t.co/t9Pa3KSQ2q— Kim Williams-Paisley (@Kim Williams-Paisley)1554406601.0
Lots of people had words of praise for Kimberly and Brad.
@BarackObama @BradPaisley @Kimwilliamspais Altruism (selfless concern for humanity) does a Nation GOOD thank YOU Mr… https://t.co/f4dn7Ugawd— Lisa Cain (@Lisa Cain)1554468267.0
@BarackObama @BradPaisley @Kimwilliamspais This is what being a successful person truly looks like - generous hearts giving back.— jancrockett (@jancrockett)1554473108.0
@BarackObama @BradPaisley @Kimwilliamspais I just happened to catch this on tv today. What a great story. Thank you… https://t.co/HTdUC2DZN6— Deb Smyth-Warfield (@Deb Smyth-Warfield)1554414264.0
People will be referred to The Store by various social service agencies, and they will be able to shop there for a year while they work on building a more stable living situation.
Williams-Paisley stressed the importance of helping people out, even before they reach rock bottom.
"We really want to get to people before it's a major crisis. We want to help people in this gap where they're trying to get back on their feet and they just need a little bit of extra help."
@BarackObama @BradPaisley @Kimwilliamspais That is amazing! Humanity at its best. Thank you both for being amazing… https://t.co/w023IenVxj— Liss B (@Liss B)1554459086.0
@Kimwilliamspais What a wonderful thing y’all are doing! You will be blessed for blessing so many others.— Charlene Miller (@Charlene Miller)1554378314.0
@Kimwilliamspais Best of luck and congrats to 2 loving people out there !! @Kimwilliamspais & @BradPaisley You guy… https://t.co/4CrfdVQ92w— Giovanna (@Giovanna)1554339310.0
Paisley said of The Store:
"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"
The goal is for The Store to serve at least 3,000 people per year in the Nashville area.
In an effort to fund the project, The Store are offering a personalized engraved brick to those who donate $500 or more. The bricks will be used to line the sidewalk leading to the facility.
Brad Paisley also released his new single "My Miracle," in March and announced that he will be doing a world tour throughout this spring into this summer. This is certainly going to be a busy year for the Paisleys!