Brad Paisley breaks ground on free grocery store in Nashville

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – APRIL 03: Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Brad Paisley break ground for grocery site “The Store” on April 03, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Country star Brad Paisley and his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, have broken ground on a free grocery store that will support families in need in Nashville, Tennessee.

Paisley took the controls of a backhoe on Wednesday to dig up the first pile of dirt in the space that will become The Store, which is a partnership with his alma mater Belmont University. He donned a cowboy hat-shaped construction helmet for part of the ceremony.

Williams-Paisley says one in seven people in Nashville and one in five children struggle with hunger and food insecurity and they wanted to help people before it becomes a major crisis in their lives.

Paisley says his family volunteered at a similar store in California and loved the idea of giving parents dignity when they need help feeding their children.

“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,” Paisley said. “The kids can even ride a mechanical pony out in front of The Store – no charge. Kids do not need the stress of wondering how their parents are going to feed them. In Nashville we have the power of the benevolence of the residents to support The Store.”

The construction is projected to be completed by the end of 2019.

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