After spending my adolescent summers terrorizing swimming pools and basketball courts, I have fond memories of making my triumphant return to school. I couldn’t wait to stunt on my classmates with my new Penny Hardaway jersey or flex on the kids in my art class with my fresh stock of sketch pads and colored pencils. But one thing I never considered was the toll that the first day of school took on my parents.
I was oblivious to the missed car payments that allowed them to afford that jersey or how they combed through countless Targets in order to find my favorite colored pencils. For so many parents, while their children are brimming with enthusiasm to reunite with their teachers and classmates, back to school shopping is synonymous with dread, despair, and anxiety. Thankfully, Black-ish star Marcus Scribner, Frito-Lay, and Feed the Children have joined forces to help those in need to alleviate those burdens.
On Wednesday, more than 200 Los Angeles residents were invited to participate in the Snackable Notes Back-to-School Kick Off, in which families received their choice of brand new backpacks, toiletries, school supplies, board games, and children’s books in order to help them jumpstart a brand new year of scholastic achievement.
“I teamed up with Frito-Lay and Feed the Children to help these families get back to school on the right foot,” Scribner told The Root. “It means a lot to me. And it’s nice to be able to see all these families come in and collect spiral notebooks, sharpeners and all the things that I remember needing in school. And just seeing all the happy faces.”
Despite his hectic schedule, the 19-year-old made it a priority to give back to the community he calls home—literally. You can hear the pride in his voice when he reveals, “I grew up on Crenshaw and Pico.”
In addition to back to school items, families also received food donations and variety packs of Frito-Lay’s popular Snackable Notes, which allow parents to relay personal messages on their child’s snack of choice.
But outside of just putting a smile on a child’s face, Snackable Notes also involve a philanthropic element. For each note filled out and submitted to its website, Frito-Lay will donate a dollar to Feed the Children, supplementing up to two million meals for families in need.
“The Snackable Notes are super dope,” Scribner explained. “You can write inspiring notes to your loved ones. My mom used to write notes on the paper lunch bag whenever she would send me to school. It just really helps to brighten someone’s day.”
And yes, while the notes are great, the families in attendance made it clear they had so much more to be grateful for.
“This means a lot,” one mother who chose to remain anonymous told The Root. “It really helps us out because you know sometimes we can’t afford the price of things.”
“I have four children and having to pay for everything is a lot. So the books, the games, everything is just so amazing,” another parent added. “Not only do they have their things for school, but we do family time. So it’s great to have these things to allow us to spend time together as a family.”
The event was a beautiful sight to behold, and in seeing the bigger picture, Scribner hopes that others feel inspired to uplift their own communities as best they can.
“We all have something to offer. We all have a platform,” Scribner said. “Use what makes you unique to help others around you and to uplift those who uplifted you.”