Nashville, TN

The Store is ready to serve people in need with free goods

Kelleigh Michanichou

NASHVILLE, TN — The Store, a year-round free grocery store that offers people in need a place to shop for basic necessities, officially opened in Nashville on July 1, 2021. The Store serves people who are referred by community agencies that partner with The Store.

The Store aims to eliminate hunger issues in the community. The Store serves anyone in need, regardless of their color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), race, disability, sexual orientation, military status or marital status.

Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams-Paisley, an infamous celebrity couple in Nashville, first visited Unity Shoppe with their sons. Unity Shoppe has been supporting families in the community for more than a hundred years in Santa Barbara, California. The couple decided to adopt the Unity Shoppe's concept for The Store in Nashville.

"We took our boys to Unity Shoppe to teach them about serving others and giving back to people in need," says Paisley. "And we came away surprised by what the organization had taught us. Most people don't want handouts. They want dignity and respect. Most people want to become self-sufficient."

The Store partners with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee and others to provide perishable and non-perishable products. The Second Harvest Food Bank provides guidelines for The Store to ensure the quality of the food.

The Store provides food and other products with donations from individuals and corporations. The Store plans to collaborate with other organizations to better serve the community by providing cooking and nutrition classes soon.

The Store also collaborates with Thistle Farms by offering a private line of specialty body care products. The Store partnered with Senior Ride Nashville in 2020 to deliver 221 weeks' worth of groceries to older adults with food security concerns during the pandemic.

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