(CBS) Meet Lily, the newest addition to the "Sesame Street" team.
The 7-year-old child Muppet will be introduced and featured during a special primetime episode titled "Growing Hope Against Hunger," which is scheduled to air on Oct. 9.
The special will feature celebrity guests Brad Paisley and his wife, Kimberly Williams Paisley, as well as the regular crew of "Sesame Street" residents, including Elmo, Bert and Grover. "Sesame Street" hopes that the episode will help address issues about poverty and hunger and open up a discussion. The show was funded in part by Walmart, which donated a $1.5 million grant. The retail chain will be holding screenings in select communities.
"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. Sesame Workshop is the non-profit educational organization behind "Sesame Street" and other related projects.According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 46.2 million Americans lived in poverty last year, which is approximately 15.1 percent of the population. It was the highest level in 52 years.
"We felt it was best to have this new Muppet take this on in a positive way and a healthy way," she added.
Betancourt said that the team understands it's hard to talk about such serious issues, and this is one way to address the topic while keeping a hopeful message.
During the special, the vibrantly colored Muppet will visit a community garden and will obtain food and volunteer at a "food pantry." Lily will also talk about her family's hunger issues with the rest of the cast.
So far, Lily is scheduled to appear only on the Oct. 9 episode, but that can always change in the future.