KIDS SHARE THEIR STORIES IN NICK NEWS WITH LINDA ELLERBEE: "WHAT'S FOR DINNER? HUNGRY KIDS IN AMERICA," PREMIERING SUNDAY, DEC. 4, ON NICKELODEON
NEW YORK, Dec. 1, 2011 - This holiday season, when you're thinking about candy and cookies and cakes, turkeys and roasts and big family feasts, think about this: While millions of American kids fight a battle against obesity, other American kids don't have enough to eat. According to the government, at least one in seven American families' lacks consistent access to food. Nick News with Linda Ellerbee hears from these kids in the new half-hour special, "What's For Dinner? Hungry Kids in America," premiering Sunday, Dec. 4, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon. Beginning Monday, Dec. 5, the special will be available on Nick.com and at iTunes.com/Nick News as a free podcast.
"Imagine living in America and going hungry. Imagine feeling powerless to change that," said Linda Ellerbee. "In this special, kids share their stories - often stories about the shame they feel in asking for help - and talk about places and programs that have helped their families."
Shaykia (14) of Baltimore, Md. is the oldest of three. Her single mom works at a restaurant part-time, but the food starts running low during the last half of the month. Sometimes Shaykia gives her food to her little sisters. She also writes poems to express her feelings about the situation as she doesn't want other kids to know what her family is going through.
Kristoffer (14) of Branford, Conn. is also one of three kids who often don't have enough to eat. One of the programs his family takes advantage of now is the Tuesday night free dinner at the Community Dining Room, a program to help hungry people. His dream is to grow up, get a good job and make money so he never has to live this way again.
Clinton (15) from New Braunfels, Tex. has limited his own eating since his dad lost his job. His family has applied for food stamps and uses a food pantry two times a month. Despite their struggles, Clinton stays positive and says he is grateful for what they do have.
Cameron (15) of Lewiston, Maine and Joshua (10) of Miami Beach, Fla. are making efforts to do something about hunger. Cameron, whose dad lost his job, started working at Lots to Gardens, a youth-driven organization that converts empty lots to gardens. Once a week he's able to take three pounds of vegetables home. His family is eating healthier now and the money he earns helps them financially. Joshua created Joshua's Heart Foundation to help poor and hungry people in his community by giving them food. The organization has raised more than $150,000 and has helped over 7,200 families. "One person can make a difference but it's easier with more than one," said Joshua.
Nick News, produced by Lucky Duck Productions, is now in its 20th year and is the longest-running kids' news show in television history. It has built its reputation on the respectful and direct way it speaks to kids about the important issues of the day. Over the years, Nick News has received more than 21 Emmy nominations and recently won its ninth Emmy Award for Under the Influence: Kids of Alcoholics in the category of Outstanding Children's Nonfiction Program. Additional Emmy wins for outstanding children's programming include: The Face of Courage: Kids Living with Cancer (2010); Coming Home: When Parents Return from War (2009); The Untouchable Kids of India (2008); Private Worlds: Kids and Autism (2007); Never Again: From the Holocaust to the Sudan (2005); Faces of Hope: The Kids of Afghanistan (2002) and What Are You Staring At? (1998). In addition, in 1995, the entire series won the Emmy. In 2009, Nick News was honored with the Edward R. Murrow Award for best Network News Documentary for Coming Home: When Parents Return from War - the first-ever kids' television program to receive this prestigious award. Nick News has also received three Peabody Awards, including a personal award given to Ellerbee for explaining the impeachment of President Clinton to kids, as well as a Columbia duPont Award and more than a dozen Parents' Choice Awards.
Nickelodeon, now in its 32nd year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in more than 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 16 consecutive years. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA - News, VIA.B - News).