Sesame Street has decided to tackle the hunger issue facing millions of Americans by introducing a hunger stricken muppet to the cast. The episode called “Growing Hope Against Hunger” will air on Oct. 9 at 7pm ET/PT and feature food-insecure Lily, a pink-faced muppet, and country star Brad Paisley along with his wife Kimberly Williams Paisley.
Lily will join Elmo, Rosita, Grover and other Sesame Street muppets for the one-hour prime-time special. Her role is to bring awareness about hunger isses that families in the U.S. are facing today. Lily’s family will portray a family that deals with the ongoing struggle of hunger and food insecurity.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 17 million American children are the victims of food insecurity. Meaning they have limited or uncertain access to food. The U.S.D.A. reports that of those 17 million children 9.6 million are under the age of six. The food insecurity statistics are what prompted Sesame Street to lauch an initiative created to raise awareness about the hunger issues so many Americans are facing.
Sesame Street Workshop, the non-profit organization behind “Sesame Street,” created “Food for Thought: Eating Well on a Budget” to help raise awareness about hunger, help children understand where food comes from, and help parents learn how to cook better on tighter budgets. The website for “Food for Thought” is filled with games for kids, recipes for parents, and toolkits to promote better education surrounding food.
A lead in “Growing Hope Against Hunger” says that, “This one-hour special, made possible by the generous support of Walmart raises awareness of the widespread issue of hunger in the United States and its impact on children.”
The Paisley’s said in a statement regarding the special, “Food insecurity is a growing and difficult issue for adults to discuss, much less children.”
During the special, Lily will talk about her families struggles with hunger and other families will join in the discussion. The topics will cover things from being hungry to solutions fighting hunger such as assistance programs and food drives.
A Spanish version of “Growing Hope Against Hunger” will air on Oct. 22 at 1pm ET/PT.