Lydia Sarson comes to Healthy Foods for Healthy Kids as Executive Director after nearly a decade spent in international business development, in both the private and nonprofit sectors. Using her experience in corporate development and nonprofit management, combined with her personal love of cooking and gardening, Lydia is excited to continue HFHK’s mission to “veggie-cate the First State.”

Lydia holds a B.S. in International Relations, a B.A. in German Language Studies, and a B.A. in Russian Language Studies, from West Chester University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. Lydia is a proud member of the Rotary Club of Philadelphia and sits on the Pennsylvania Advisory Council of the United States Global Leadership Coalition. She is currently pursuing a post-graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Drexel University.

Jen Cipolla has been working for Healthy Foods for Healthy Kids since May 2019.  As the Program Manager, she enjoys working with children, teaching them new skills and watching their curiosity bloom as they plant gardens and try new vegetables.  Jen was a certified swim instructor for the YMCA of Delaware for 9 years.  She has incorporated her teaching experience into how she interacts with students and teachers at our Partner Schools.  Jen has an M.S. in Environmental Engineering and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering.

Joe Jankowski is our Public Ally for the 2021-2022 school year. Public Allies is a 10 month apprenticeship program through Americorps. You may see him out in the garden with us taking photos and videos for the outdoor portions of our lessons. He is also helping us develop different social media strategies. Joe holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Albright College. His passions include creating sustainable futures for all, developing eco-friendly ways to develop green energy, and remediating environmental damage. He also enjoys expressing himself through painting, drawing, writing, and debating philosophy.  Joe is very excited to help HFHK achieve our goal to “Veggie-cate the First State”.

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Thianda Manzara, Ph.D., is the Founder of Healthy Foods for Healthy Kids. Motivated by a desire to improve children’s health, Dr. Manzara combined her love of science and her passions for food, cooking and gardening to create HFHK. Prior to starting HFHK, her career was devoted to plant biology teaching and research. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology, a master’s degree in agronomy, and a Ph.D. in genetics.

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