“Sesame Street” is introducing a new Muppet character who’s poor and sometimes hungry, the New York Times reports. “Lily,” a hot pink, 7-year-old-girl Muppet will appear in a one-hour “Sesame Street” special episode in October.
The Department of Agriculture estimates that about 17 million American children are “food insecure,” meaning their access to food is limited or uncertain, the New York Times reports. Wal-Mart is sponsoring the episode, which is designed to raise awareness about hunger in America, Entertainment Weekly reports.
“We thought long and hard about how do we really represent this from a child’s point of view?” Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop’s senior vice president for outreach and educational practices, told the New York Times. “We felt it was best to have this new Muppet take this on in a positive way and a healthy way.”
In the episode, the Muppets visit a community garden.
Country singer Brad Paisley and his actress wife Kimberly Williams Paisley are costarring in the special, Entertainment Weekly reports. “Food insecurity is a growing and difficult issue for adults to discuss, much less children,” they said in a statement. “We are honored that Sesame Street, with its long history of tackling difficult issues with sensitivity, caring and warmth, asked us to be a part of this important project.”