Growing Hope Against Hunger is a one-hour Sesame Street prime time special raising awareness of the widespread issue of hunger in the United States. The special is part of Sesame Workshop's Food for Thought initiative and features Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams Paisley along with the Muppets of Sesame Street. It aired on local PBS stations on October 9, 2011 at 7pm.
“Growing Hope Against Hunger speaks to both children and adults with a story that celebrates the importance of community as everyone works to help one another — including Brad Paisley, Kimberly Williams Paisley, and their Sesame Street friends, Rosita, Grover, and Bert. Our Sesame friends are collecting foods at a food drive and a community garden and meet Lily, a new character whose family has an ongoing struggle with hunger. Together, Lily’s family finds strength in helping others who are experiencing similar circumstances. Through animations and songs, the Sesame characters understand what Lily is going through and how their simple actions, such as planting a seed, can make a world of difference. Finally, documentary stories present children’s perspectives on food insecurity and illuminate the impact hunger has on families.
No matter what the viewers’ experiences with food are, the special reassures children that they are not alone: There are people who care and can help. Emphasizing the importance of togetherness, the special motivates all children to help others, whether through friendship or by giving through family activities. Adults, by hearing children’s voices and stories, will find age-appropriate ways to talk to children about sensitive issues related to food. The special also aims to reduce stigma related to food insecurity, empowering adults to serve as resources to others and build hope in their communities.”
Behind the scenes
- Brad Paisley as himself
- Kimberly Williams Paisley as herself
- Chris Knowings as Chris
- Kevin Clash as Elmo
- Leslie Carrara-Rudolph as Lily
- Carmen Osbahr as Rosita
- Eric Jacobson as Super Grover and Bert
- Additional Muppet performers: Matt Vogel, John Kennedy, Paul McGinnis