Apparently the publishers felt it was more important to include a useless pencil (pic1) instead of a functional insert. Easy fix but one I should not have had to do since it was a bad judgement call of the publisher
To fix this, I cut a small piece of foam core (pic2) and glued it to the insert to serve as a divider (pic3).
Next, I addressed the issue of the tight fitting box by just using a small piece of blue painters tape (so it would not damage if I chose to get rid of in the future). I taped it to the inside of the box and made it long enough to fold it down to use as a pull tab (pic4). Now, I can gently pull the box top while holding onto the blue pull tab.