Brad Paisley, Wife Kimberly’s Free Grocery Store Gets $1.5 Million Grant
Brad Paisley and his wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, just got a huge boost in their quest to help lower-income families in Tennessee. The couple's free grocery store, called the Store, has received a $1.5 million grant in conjunction with Belmont University.
According to Belmont's website, the Tennessee Department of Human Services has given the Belmont Ministry Center and the Store, which is an adjacent nonprofit organization, a $1.5 million 2Gen Family Wellbeing Program grant. The purpose of the grant is to provide "local, low-income families support through food provision, nutritional and pharmacy education, health screenings, legal aid clinics, mental health counseling and music therapy."
Paisley and his wife first revealed plans for the Store in October of 2018. Williams-Paisley tells Nashville's Tennessean newspaper that the idea was inspired by a holiday season the couple spent in California with their two sons. When she felt they were acting spoiled, she decided to have the entire family volunteer at a store that provides groceries to people in need, which touched off the idea that a similar store could serve a need in Nashville.
The Store is set to provide fresh and non-perishable groceries to people in need for the period of a year to help them get back on their feet, based on referrals from nonprofits and government agencies.
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A groundbreaking for the Store took place in April, and it is expected to open early in 2020.
"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," Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher says. "We are grateful for 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 Belmont Ministry Center and the Store plan to work in concert to provide access to healthy food options and a wide range of other services designed to help lift people out of poverty and help them make healthier choices in every aspect of their lives. The services are vitally needed in Tennessee, which, according to statistics, ranks 42nd among the 50 states in overall health, and ranks among the worst states in precursors for preventable illness and death, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
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