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Brad Paisley's free Nashville grocery store gets $1.5M Tennessee grant

The Tennessean (Nashville) logo The Tennessean (Nashville) 8/21/2019 Staff and wire reports
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A planned free grocery store founded by country star Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams-Paisley, in collaboration with Belmont University, just received a big boost from the state of Tennessee. 

The project, which aims to serve as a food pantry for families and individuals in need, will receive a $1.5 million 2Gen Family Wellbeing Program grant from the Department of Human Services. 

The grant will support the Belmont Ministry Center, which opened on 12 South last year, and Paisley's adjacent nonprofit grocery shop, The Store. 

“This is a grocery store with dignity for people who have fallen on hard times,” Paisley said in October when the project was announced. “All of us are one unforeseen disaster away from rock bottom. It’s nice to think about a place where when that happens to someone, they can use it to get back on their feet.”

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Belmont plans to expand the ministry center and enhance its services to support patrons of The Store and other low-income Nashville families.

Construction on The Store started in April, it is expected to open in early 2020.  

Belmont says the grant will help provide low-income families with food, nutritional and pharmacy education, health screenings, legal aid clinics, mental health counseling and music therapy.

“This grant is the glue that is bringing the work of The Store and the Belmont Ministry Center together in a way that will help us both have the biggest impact possible on the people in our community,” said The Store Executive Director Gina Hancock in a statement. 

The Store will partner with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee and other organizations to provide both fresh and nonperishable groceries to individuals and families in need for one year. Customers will be referred by nonprofit and government agencies. The nonprofit has an initial goal to serve 3,000 people per year. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Brad Paisley's free Nashville grocery store gets $1.5M Tennessee grant

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