Our History

Jolene Mowry, Founder of Back Pack Kidz.

In 2010 Jolene found so many young children in Charlotte County were going hungry on the weekends, they were unable to focus and function properly in class. Children were coming into school on Monday very lethargic due to lack of nutrition. Jolene and the Yah Yah Girls founded the Back Pack Kidz program to address this crisis. It is her example of putting heart and soul into this endeavor that encourages the Yah Yah Girls and our community members and valued sponsors to continue to work and support Back Pack Kidz, and to also expand it until all the neediest elementary and middle school children in Charlotte County have food to eat on the weekends.

Cost to feed for a year:

  • $208.00 one child
  • $416.00 two children
  • $624.00 for three children

The Yah Yah Girls, Inc., a 501(c)(3) charity corporation has been working for the neediest children of Charlotte County.  During the early spring of 2010, we learned there was a serious problem in our County:  some children on free and reduced lunch at school left school on Friday and received little to no food until they returned to school on Monday morning.  As inconceivable as it was, children here, in our community, were going hungry on the weekends! The Yah Yah Girls unanimously agreed this crisis needed to be addressed, and going forward, bridging the weekend hunger gap of our community’s neediest children would be our #1 project.  Over 80 men and women, all volunteers, are committed to helping secure the needs of these children.

Thus, a new chapter began for Yah Yah Girls, Inc. Back Pack Kidz was born!  Since our decision to dedicate our fundraising efforts to Back Pack Kidz, our volunteers have stocked and delivered over 1200 to 1500 backpacks per week.  This food directly helps Charlotte County’s neediest children in a substantial and sustained way.

Our organization is made up of members and many volunteers.


Feeding hungry children one food filled bag at a time. Many children in Charlotte County do not have a stable source of food except the free or reduced meals provided by the schools. We bridge the gap by providing bags filled with nutritious food items to over 1200 to 1500 children every weekend of the school year. The cost to feed one child for the school year is ever increasing as is the number of hungry children in Charlotte County. The Yah Yah Girls provide 1200 to 1500 bags of food to all Charlotte County Elementary Schools, stock 3 Middle School pantries and provide energy treats to the 2 High Schools for their after school activity programs.

We have no administrative costs.

All donations go directly to purchase food

www.backpackkidz.com 501 (C) (3)

We currently service the following schools:

Elementary Schools:

Deep Creek, East, Kingsway, Liberty, Meadow Park, Myakka, Neil Armstrong, Peace River, Sallie Jones, Vineland

Middle Schools:

L.A. Ainger Middle School, Murdock, Port Charlotte, Port Charlotte Middle School, Punta Gorda Middle School


Charlotte High School, Port Charlotte High School, Charlotte Tech, Baker Center, Center Charlotte Harbor Special Needs

Our Sponsors