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December 08, 2011

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Sesame Workshop Helps Families Eat Healthy on a Budget

By Pam Hacker

Food For Thought

Photo By Gil Vaknin

“As a parent, I am reminded on a daily basis how important a healthy diet is to both physical and emotional well-being. There are few things more heartbreaking than the eyes of a hungry child, or a parent who feels too much shame to ask for help. I’m honored to be a part of this important initiative.”
-Erica Hill, Co-Anchor, CBS News’ The Early Show

In December of 2010, Sesame Workshop launched Food for Thought: Eating Healthy on a Budget, a bilingual (English-Spanish) multimedia outreach initiative designed to help children between the ages of two and eight and their families cope with uncertain or limited access to affordable and nutritious food. Today, Sesame Workshop unveiled compelling research on the initiative, demonstrating that Food For Thought: Eating Healthy on A Budget has been successful in helping families increase knowledge beliefs and behaviors around nutrition. The study was conducted by the Field Research Corporation and funded by The Merck Company foundation.

Food For Thought

Photo by Jen Rupnik

A livestream panel was also held today to present the results, moderated by Erica Hill, Co-Anchor of CBS News The Early Show, at the national Press Club in Washington, D.C. She was joined by several experts including:

  • Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, Senior Vice President, Outreach and Educational Practices, Sesame Workshop
  • Enid Borden, President and CEO, Meals on Wheels Association of America
  • Mark DiCamillo, Senior Vice President, Field Research Corporation
  • Vicki Escarra, President & CEO, Feeding America
  • Tianna Gaines, Witnesses to Hunger
  • Rev. Douglas Greenaway, President and CEO, National WIC Association
  • Ronald Kleinman, M.D., Physician in Chief, MassGeneral Hospital for Children

The study focused on the impact of a four week exposure to the kit and found that it had a positive impact on behaviors and attitudes regarding how to cope with food insecurity. This translated into concrete activities for the participants, who were more likely to seek help, save money on food, and choose healthier eating for their families after working with the kit. Most importantly, participants showed a dramatically increased ability to cope with food insecurity and communicate with their children about food security worries. Sesame Workshop hopes that it can continue initiatives like Food For Thought and Growing Hope For Hunger in an effort to help families find resources and grow stronger together.

For more information, read the full press release here.

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