TODAY   |  May 20, 2013

Justin Bieber surprises young fans, makes donation

The pop star shocked young fans at Whitney Elementary School in Las Vegas, where he paid a surprise visit on Friday, handing out food donations and pledging to fill the school’s food pantry over the next year. NBC’s Mara Schiavocampo reports.

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>>> winner justin bieber took home the milestone and top male artist. before taking the stage justin made a special appearance at a smaller venue to support a cause close to his heart. here's nbc's mara schiavocampo.

>> reporter: with legions of belieber, justin bieber is adored around the world.

>> what's up, how are you doing?

>> reporter: including these young fans at an elementary school in las vegas .

>> don't cry. how are you?

>> reporter: bieber paid a surprise visit to the school on friday, packing food donations and handing it out to students.

>> what's up, man? i'm teaming up with conagra foods to fill the food banks in america. my mom and i went to food banks to being to help out now has been amazing.

>> reporter: bieber also pledged to fill the school's food pantry over the next year.

>> oh, god.

>> reporter: giving back is a big part of what happens at this school every day. in addition to meeting the educational needs of nearly 600 students, principal sherry gahn provided many of the children and the families with the necessities, from food to medicine and housing. all thanks to funds donated by individuals and companies from around the world.

>> they're struggling every day. we have basic survival needs here. justin bieber coming means a lot. these kids get to see that someone really important to them believes in them.

>> come on!

>> reporter: this is a change of pace for bieber , who has been in the not so shiny spotlight recently while touring across europe and he's hoping his fans continue to believe in him.

>> i know who i am and i know about my music and i just want to make people happy and you know, media can say what they want to say but again i rise above it all. listen to the principal and the teachers and always try your best in school. thank you.

>> reporter: for "today," mara schiavocampo, nbc