Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams-Paisley opened their free grocery store in Nashville, The Store, back in March in partnership with Belmont University and Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. Since then, they've helped thousands of people, and Paisley told Andy Cohen during an appearance on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live this week that The Store has provided 500,000 meals in Music City.
"Our original model was to have this great model of a grocery store, which has dignity for people," the singer shared. "They can come through, and it's different than something like a soup kitchen or something like that. They have a choice, and there’s dignity in choice, they just don’t pay. It was working for a week before the pandemic hit, and then we switched to deliveries, and eventually, we will go back to what we intended to be, but right now, we’re serving five times what we expected, and since March, we have provided 500,000 meals in Nashville. We didn’t expect that. We thought we would do about 100,000 in the first six months, and here we are, but that’s the times we’re living in."
Paisley and Williams-Paisley announced in 2018 that they were opening The Store, which they based on the Unity Shoppe in Santa Barbara, California.
"It's free to folks who lose their jobs or fall on hard times," Paisley said on the Today show in April. "We kind of built this from the ground up with a bunch of great, smart people in Nashville based on the model of one in Santa Barbara that we love what they do, called Unity Shoppe. It was all about, let's say you lose your job and you need groceries and you don't know where you're gonna get the money for that. It's a dignity-type of shopping experience, where it kind of feels normal."
0commentsView this post on Instagram
Along with their store in Nashville, Paisley and Williams-Paisley are also helping those in need of food across the country, recently sharing that meal company Tiller & Hatch, which Paisley and Williams-Paisley co-founded, has partnered with Feeding America member food banks for a Million Meal Donation Tour. Trucks will be traveling the country and donating food to local food banks in 15 cities, handing out frozen Tiller & Hatch meals, and the goal is to donate one million meals nationwide.
"We're on a mission to help those struggling with hunger and food insecurity," Paisley shared in a video with his wife. "Due to the pandemic, it's a real crisis." "Many people who never thought they'd need food assistance are now seeking it, meaning more than 54 million people may experience food insecurity in 2020 including 18 million children," Williams-Paisley added. "That's one in four children. It's heartbreaking."