Chris Pratt’s family relied on food banks when he was growing up.
The ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ star has teamed up with Feeding America to spread awareness about poverty and food instability in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and in doing so, has also opened up on his own experience with needing to rely on food banks in order to eat.
Chris insisted there’s “no shame” in needing help when it comes to food, and encouraged those who are able to help over the holiday season.
He said: "I grew up in a small town, we had 7,000 people in our town, and we had some economic hard times, and we had a food bank nearby and I'm not ashamed to say that there were moments when my family would need to eat from a food bank. There’s no shame in it - especially right now with what we are going through. There is help out there, and you can find that help and get that help, and there's nothing wrong with needing that help.
"And if you are a person who doesn't need help, there's a great feeling in service of helping someone else. It's a great thing to do this holiday season.”
The 41-year-old actor also called for the “de-stigmatization” of food banks, as he said people often feel as though they can’t ask for help when they need it.
He added: "With a combination of this pandemic and the subsequent economic downturn, we're looking at food instability for families, the likes of which we haven't seen in a very long time in this country.
“I think a lot of time when we're illuminating this message and shining a light on this need, we're saying, 'How can we get people to help?' but it's important to destigmatize the idea that if you need help it's okay to accept it. It is.”
And Chris - who is father to eight-year-old son Jack, whom he has with his ex-wife Anna Faris, and daughter Lyla, whom he and his spouse Katherine Schwarzenegger welcomed in August - wants to see American citizens come together to “do what they can” and help one another.
Speaking to Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot in a conversation over Instagram Live, he said: “Our country has a beautiful history of uniting through community ... [and] each of us is a thread in that community and as strong as we can be, we're holding that fabric together. We're being called right now to do what we can.”