On Sunday, October 9th, you and your family can watch a Sesame Street one-hour primetime special on PBC titled Growing Hope Against Hunger with country singer Brad Paisley and a brand new Muppet named Lily.
Lily was designed to be as human as possible, in both appearance and mannerisms, to represent the more than 16 million children in the United States that are “food insecure,” a term used to describe those who have limited or uncertain access to affordable and nutritious foods. Lily was designed for this special, and there are not currently any plans for her to become a more permanent member of the Sesame Street cast.
In addition to Paisley and Lily, Growing Hope Against Hunger will include many of your Sesame Street favorites such as Elmo, and documentary-like vignettes starring real children who have experienced hunger.
The child-focused special is meant to be positive and educational. Sesame Street remains upbeat even while dealing with a heavy topic such as hungry children in our own neighborhoods. Growing Hope Against Hunger will include information about volunteering, food drives, food pantries, and community gardens. Even the show’s title tells us that the focus intended is hope.
Childhood obesity has become a concern in the United States that we talk about often. Both obesity and hunger are very important problems. However, for those children that are food insecure, discussion of obesity could be confusing and frustrating. I have always been a fan of Sesame Street, and I look forward to seeing how they handle this sensitive topic.