The food-themed show will be reminiscent of an old-fashioned telethon
One of the issues she’s most passionate about solving is childhood hunger, which is why she teamed up with the organization No Kid Hungry, a Washington-based non-profit dedicated to ending childhood hunger in America.
On Wednesday, the actress will be hosting an event called No Kid Hungry Live with Busy Philipps, a variety show-style fundraiser which will be available to watch for free via livestream on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.
The one-of-a-kind show will kick off the annual “Dine for No Kid Hungry” fundraiser, which allows people to dine at (or order from) participating restaurants donating their proceeds towards providing meals for children. Over 15,000 restaurants participated in the fundraiser last year, and the initiative has raised over $70 million since launching in 2008.
Designed to raise awareness, No Kid Hungry Live with Busy Philipps will be reminiscent of an old-fashioned telethon, but with more celebrity guests, funny skits, interactive contests and prizes for viewers.
“I’ve contacted a ton of my celebrity friends and we’re going to do a bunch of stuff focused around food and eating,” Philipps tells PEOPLE of the event. “I really think it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m trying to imbue it with the same sense of humor that we had on my show [Busy Tonight] and that I show on Instagram.”
Philipps says she can not stress enough the importance of this initiative: “The statistics are really scary when you look at them: 1 in 6 kids in America live with hunger. When you think about what the impact of that really is on a school-aged child — I can just speak from personal experience, when I’m hungry I don’t operate or function at my best. And then we’re asking these kids to go to school to try to learn and focus? It has a devastating impact on children. My heart breaks when I think about all the people in our country, our neighbors, kids who are in the same schools as my kids, having to deal with this and suffer silently.”
Set to air from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. EDT, the show will be co-hosted by celebrity chef Curtis Stone, who has long been an advocate for programs that help feed kids during the summer months. He also participates in Dine for No Kid Hungry at his own restaurant Gwen in Los Angeles. Philipps says she is incredibly excited to be able to have him by her side throughout the show.
“There are so many things to care about in our world and in our country, and it can feel really overwhelming — I get that, I really do,” adds Philipps. “But I think that No Kid Hungry has really figured out a way to make it very easy to help provide our kids with hunger great nutrition and good food. This program really changes lives, and this livestream makes it really easy to find out how you can help.”
For Philipps, giving back has always been second-nature, a quality she says she inherited from her charitable parents.
“Being socially active at this point in my life and career feels like a privilege,” she says. “I think we’re at a time where it’s imperative to do these kinds of things, for so many reasons. But for me it’s just been a part of who I’ve been. To me, it’s just a part of being human.”
Philipps says she discusses the charities she is a part of with her daughters, Cricket Pearl, 6, and Birdie Leigh, 11, hoping to instill these philanthropic values in them the same way her parents did for her.
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“We talk a lot about what giving back means, and that we’re not any better than anyone that we’re helping out,” she says. “I teach them we’re just in a different position at this time.”
But it’s not just her daughters she’s focused on encouraging — she also wants her fans to know that they can make a difference in their community, no matter who they are.
“I’m so grateful that I have this platform where I’m able to help on a larger scale, but even if you don’t have, whatever, a million followers on Instagram, you can still make a difference,” she says. “It can feel paralyzing, but the truth is, every tiny drop in a bucket helps.”