A smiling face familiar to many in the Fort Smith area will soon become a little more famous, as part of a Frito-Lay promotion.
Charolette Tidwell, founder of Antioch for Youth and Family and a U.S. Marshals Museum board member, is one of 30 people from across the country whose smile will be featured on Lay’s potato chips for a limited time. They chose Tidwell for their lightly salted jalapeno kettle cooked chips.
"A smile releases endorphins...and our mood rises. When someone smiles at me, it makes me engage them much quicker." Tidwell shared. "I’m a smiler, I learned to do that...a smile goes a long, long way."
With masks more prevalent than smiles in the COVID-era, people don’t see eachother’s smile as much as they used to. The bags of potato chips focus in on those smiles because, as they say, they want to show "real smiles of 30 ’ordinary’ people doing extraordinary things in their communities."
Tidwell spoke about the importance of a smile in her nursing career and to help others now through her food bank.
Her work with Antioch for Youth and Family food bank to help feed young people and families in the area has garnered her this national recognition.
Tidwell’s efforts with Antioch for Youth & Family during the COVID-19 pandemic brought $700,000 worth of food to Martin Luther King Park since March.
She has also delivered food to 100 families considered very low-income and without transportation, and she has created a drive-thru pantry to offer low-contact food assistance through her Antioch by Appointment program.
Tidwell assists about 25,000 people with the most nutritious food possible. She is now partnering with the local police department to take food to needy families when domestic disturbances take place, and she works with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to establish a community coalition and create a trauma-informed community. Her late husband was Fort Smith Police Officer Lawrence Tidwell.
Through this annual event, Lays hopes to raise $1 million to benefit Operation Smile that will help fund surgeries for children born with a clef lip or clef palette.
Each package with a featured smile will have a QR code where you can learn more about the work the person on the package does to help their community.
In their third year of this campaign, Lay’s was concerned that COVID-19 would prevent the in-person aspect of collecting the pictures of the featured faces. With the trip to Dallas canceled, each "Everyday Smiler" was given detailed instructions for a self-portrait to submit for the packaging.
The company created more than 70 different designs for their 2020 line of custom bags.
"Having pored through thousands of nominations and already being personally committed to these smiles ourselves, particularly now when people are looking for more reasons to smile than ever before, we knew we couldn’t let a canceled photo shoot keep Lay’s from sharing these inspiring stories with the world," said Sadira Furlow, vice president of marketing for Frito-Lay North America.
"Across stores and within households, Lay’s has the power to reach millions of Americans every day. We already know that what’s inside the bag brings joy, but turning the Lay’s bag into a canvas to multiply that happiness factor is what makes the Smiles program so special."