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OTRC: New Muppet Lily to debut on 'Sesame Street' to teach children about poverty - See photo

'Sesame Street' muppet Lily and Elmo with Brad Paisley. (Sesame Workshop / PBS)

"Sesame Street" will debut a new Muppet named Lily during a special called "Growing Hope Against Hunger" set to air on October 9.

Lily, who can be seen above, is meant to teach children about poverty and hunger. The character is a 7-year-old who will talk to viewers about insecurity over whether her family will have enough to eat, according to The Associated Press. The puppet goes to a pantry for food and also volunteers there.

The Muppet represents the 17 million American children that are estimated by the Department of Agriculture to be "food insecure," according to the New York Times.

"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 newspaper on Monday. "We felt it was best to have this new Muppet take this on in a positive way and a healthy way."

The special will be hosted by country star Brad Paisley and will feature other popular Muppets like Elmo, Bert and Grover. Betancourt told the New York Times that the character is only planned for the special.

"Sesame Street" premiered its 42nd season on September 26. Several celebrities lined up for guest appearances for the show this year include, Nicole Kidman, Robin Williams, Amy Adams, Naomi Watts and Mark Ruffalo.

The show recently did a parody of "Glee" called "G" and "Deadliest Catch" called "The Heaviest Catch."

In August, Sesame Workshop, the production company behind "Sesame Street," took to the show's official Facebook page to deny that Bert and Ernie were gay. The statement was a response to an online petition asking that the show marry the two because New York recently passed same-sex marriage legislation.

"Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves," the company said on their official Facebook page. "Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most "Sesame Street" Muppets do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation."

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