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Last night, Georgia Public Broadcasting aired the Sesame Street hunger special, Growing Hope Against Hunger. The program teaches about food insecurity, which is a lack of access to food due to limited money or other resources. In the special, Elmo stumbles upon a food drive being held on Sesame Street and learns about food insecurity from a brand new friend: seven-year-old Lily, whose family has to go to the food pantry sometimes. Country star Brad Paisley and his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, came along for the ride helping out with the food drive.
As Elmo gets geared up to help, Rosita comes with a wagon filled with food with more to pick up from another location. Both Lily and Elmo go with Rosita to her next stop: a community garden. There, they meet another family who were also food insecure at one point in time, but are no longer, which gives Lily hope.
Sesame Street shed amazing light on two ways that anyone can help: food drives and community gardens. Food drives can be a great community activity as evidenced by Sesame Street last night. Same with a community garden--you're able to grow wonderful, healthy options that can be donated within your community.
Here at the Food Bank, when we first heard about the partnership between Feeding America, Walmart (who sponsored the special) and Sesame Street, we were pretty excited. It's a great way to sit down as a family and learn about hunger at its most basic premise: there are a lot of people that are food insecure and there are ways you can help no matter how big or small you are. Hunger isn't easily seen, but it affects millions of people in our country.
In Georgia, the food insecurity numbers aren't good. According to Feeding America's Child Food Insecurity Study from August 2011, 27.9% of Georgia's children live in food insecure households. That's more than 700,000 kids under the age of 18. Georgia still has a long way to go to become more food secure, but we're hoping that some impact was made by this special last night.
Did you watch it? What did you think of it?