Prepare your hankies for a Very Special upcoming episode of ever-relevant Sesame Street covering a not-so-cute issue: hunger. Meet Lily, a new Muppet created to represent one of the 17 million American children who are going hungry today. So much for sunny days.
"We thought long and hard about how do we really represent this from a child’s point of view?” a Street rep told the Times today. “We felt it was best to have this new Muppet take this on in a positive way and a healthy way.” To embody hunger, Lily, who doesn't look all that different from the other Muppets, will instead have certain vocal tics and mannerisms that imply self-consciousness and insecurity (think looking down at her feet instead of making eye contact). The one-hour episode will air on October 9 on PBS.
The episode, which is being sponsored by Walmart (who, for all their shady labor practices, admittedly has a history of trying to feed hungry kids), seeks to provide "simple, empowering strategies to families who aren't sure where their next meal will come from," like visiting a community garden. And with a record-breaking 2.5 million New Yorkers unable to afford enough food, this is one kid's show that adults might want to tune in for, too.