KEY POINTS

  • Chris Pratt wants to destigmatize the idea of reaching out and accepting help 
  • He teamed up with Feeding America to spread awareness about food insecurity
  • Pratt revealed that his family sometimes needed a food bank while growing up in Lake Stevens, Washington

Chris Pratt is underlining the need for more conversations about food insecurity in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic by revealing that his family used to rely on food banks while he was growing up.

During an Instagram Live conversation with Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, the “Guardians of the Galaxy” actor opened up about his experience with poverty and food instability while growing up in Lake Stevens, Washington. Pratt also spoke about destigmatizing the idea of needing and accepting help to get through a rough patch.

“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," the “Avengers” star recalled.

“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,” Pratt added.

Pratt was born to a grocery worker mom and a gold miner father, who died in 2014. He once became homeless while in Hawaii with a pal.

“It’s a pretty awesome place to be homeless. We just drank and smoked weed and worked minimal hours, just enough to cover gas, food and fishing supplies,” Pratt shared six years ago.

During his chat with Babineaux-Fontenot, Pratt encouraged fans to donate to Feeding America if they can and to reach out and seek help if they need it. The nonprofit organization has found that 40% of people who sought assistance during the pandemic have never done so before.

“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 de-stigmatize the idea that if you need help it's okay to accept it. It is,” Pratt said.

Pratt’s comments on food insecurity come more than a month after he was crowned the “worst Chris in Hollywood” in a poll that pitted him against Chris Pine, Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans. Some slammed Pratt for his alleged ties with a church believed to be anti-LGBTQ, while others said they didn’t agree with his political views.

Naturally, his wife Katherine Schwarzenegger, with whom he recently welcomed a child, came to his defense and slammed those bashing her husband online.

“There’s so much going on in the world and people struggling in so many ways. Being mean is so yesterday,”  she wrote. “There’s enough room to love all these guys. Love is what we all need not meanness and bullying. Let’s try that.”

Chris Pratt plays one of two brothers on a botched quest to bring back their dead father with an obscure spell in the film "Onward Chris Pratt plays one of two brothers on a botched quest to bring back their dead father with an obscure spell in the film "Onward" Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Frazer Harrison