'Sesame Street' to Air Special on Childhood Hunger

Lily, a new Sesame Street character whose family uses a food pantry.

The PBS children's program Sesame Street will air a special October 9 devoted to raising awareness of childhood hunger, a problem that affects as many as 16 million American children.  The show hopes to educate families about ways they can help alleviate hunger, from growing a vegetable garden to volunteering at a food pantry to organizing a food drive.  A new Muppet, Lily, is also introduced to the show, revealing to Elmo that she and her family sometimes visit the food pantry.

"What's still missing is that we're not seeing the face of hunger up close," Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Street's Senior Vice President for Outreach and Educational Practices told NPR, which reports:

The show doesn't rely on the Muppets alone. Four documentary vignettes comprise a good chunk of the special and feature kids who've experienced hunger directly. In one of them, Josie, 7, says that when her father wasn't working, there was no money for snacks at school.

"So what I would do is just drink some water from the fountain," she says, "until my stomach's full of water," she says.

The special airs October 9 on PBS.



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