About Us


The Pilot:  Healthy Foods for Healthy Kids at Springer Middle School


The original HFHK Program began at Springer Middle School as a partnership between then-principal Mike Gliniak and HFHK's founder, Thianda Manzara.  With the help of community organizations such as The Delaware Center for Horticulture, and local businesses such as Calvert Farm and SIW Vegetables, the pilot program began in earnest in spring of 2005 when 7 classes planted the new garden.  Since then, Springer students have planted, harvested, and eaten vegetables every spring and fall. 

Founding the HFHK Nonprofit Organization

Healthy Foods for Healthy Kids was officially established as a nonprofit organization early in 2008, with the vision of expanding to additional schools.  In spring of 2008, HFHK began working with Child Nutrition Services of the Christina School District, and started HFHK's elementary school program, Education Cultivation, at Keene Elementary.  Since then, HFHK has really taken off, and we now serve 25 schools in Delaware!



2003: Inspired by a visit to The Edible Schoolyard in California, HFHK founder Thianda Manzara assembles a Planning Committee to begin a school vegetable gardening program in Delaware.

2005: HFHK program officially starts at Springer Middle School, in partnership with Principal Michael Gliniak, The Delaware Center for Horticulture (DCH), and other community partners.

2008: HFHK nonprofit organization starts, HFHK begins working with the Christina School District, and starts its Education Cultivation Program at Keene Elementary School (ES).

2009: HFHK starts vegetable gardening programs at Douglass Alternative School, Brader ES, Forest Oak ES, Marshall ES, and Stubbs ES.

2010: In partnership with The DCH, HFHK receives a grant from Dow to begin Education Cultivation Programs at Downes ES, Brookside ES, McVey ES, and West Park Place ES.

2011: HFHK starts at Wilson ES, expands Forest Oak’s program, starts a pilot at Elbert-Palmer ES, creates partnerships for 2012 gardens with Delaware School for the Deaf, Richardson Park ES, North Star ES, and receives a Healthy People 2020 Community Innovation grant.

2012: HFHK begins Education Cultivation at Richardson Park ES, Shortlidge ES, North Star ES, Elbert-Palmer ES, Highlands ES and Rehoboth ES. In partnership with Delaware School for the Deaf and New Castle County Master Gardeners, HFHK starts the “Blue Hawk’s Nest” garden program, serving DSD students from preschool through high school. HFHK receives Whole Kids Foundation funding for several schools, a grant from The Gilliam Foundation, and is the ONLY Delaware recipient of the inaugural USDA/FNS Farm to School Grant.

2013: In partnership with the Colonial School District, HFHK begins programs at Carrie Downie ES, Eisenberg ES and Read Middle School using Farm to School grant funding.  HFHK receives funding from the  NAIFA Delaware Charitable Foundation.  HFHK hires first official part-time employees, Lindsay Lancaster and Kayley Hassler.

2014: HFHK begins programs at New Castle ES, Nativity Preparatory School, and Mt Pleasant ES, thanks to funding from Highmark Delaware, Farm to School, and the Golden Gate Garden Club.

2015: HFHK begins programs at Red Lion Christian Academy and Pleasantville ES.  Funding from Sigma Xi DuPont Chapter supports continuing program implementation at Mt Pleasant.