“Hungry Muppet” Lily to discuss hunger issues on Sesame Street

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123 Sesame Street will welcome a new Muppet to the block this Sunday, as seven-year-old, pink, blue-dress-wearing Lily joins the gang to discuss hunger issues in a one-hour primetime special called Growing Hope Against Hunger, sponsored by Walmart. Lily, apparently making her only appearance, comes from a family struggling with food-insecurity issues. 

The special will feature country singer Brad Paisley and his wife Kimberley, who said in a joint statement, "Food insecurity is a growing and difficult issue for adults to discuss, much less children. 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."

As Paisley's statement indicates, Sesame Street has a history of tactfully dealing with sensitive social issues. The introduction of Kami, an HIV-positive Muppet, on Takalani Sesame, the South African version of Sesame Street, exemplified how the show could entertain and educate rugrats at the same time. Sesame Street has been accused of pushing a left-wing agenda in the past, but the serious topic of chronic hunger, which affects one-out-of-four children in the U.S., transcends political ideology. Lily will be telling Elmo about going to the food pantry, not the wisdom of letting the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire. Hopefully the special will lead to an outpouring of altruistic donations.