Food Fit Philly is a website of the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention (CDIP) for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. CDIP is funded by city, state and federal partners including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We partner with government agencies, community-based organizations, the private sector, academic institutions and everyday Philadelphians to cultivate safe, healthy and livable communities in Philadelphia.
Our Nutrition and Physical Activity Program started in 2010. Our goals included increasing access to healthy and nutritious foods and ways to stay active. Over the years, we have grown to include work in food justice, water justice and joyful movement. We take a people-centered, data-driven, health justice approach to program and policy design, looking to evidence-based solutions when possible and contributing to building that evidence base with our own research.
All people should live to their fullest potential in environments that allow them to grow and thrive. We recognize that Philadelphia’s health is shaped by structural factors, including systemic racism; thus, we work to address systemic injustices and change policies and environments to improve health and reduce health disparities, rather than focusing on individual behaviors.
Meet the Team
Kinnari Chandriani – Chronic Disease & Injury Prevention Division Director
In this role, she is working with partners across the city to address the social determinants of health. When she started with Get Healthy Philly, she worked with City agencies to implement Comprehensive Food Standards into their food service and contracts. Prior to joining GHP, she received her medical degree at Case Western Reserve University and completed her pediatric internship at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Mica Root – Senior Projects Coordinator; Interim Co-Program Manager
Mica joined our division in 2014 from Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. She is passionate about the City working as well as it can for its residents, and in any project strives to be in regular communication with those closest to the issue and to align our resources and strategy with partners’. A core focus of Mica’s work in recent years has been water equity: Collaborating to expand drinking water access and appeal in schools, recreation centers and other public spaces; and to increase residential water security for Philadelphia households. A Bloomberg American Health Initiative Fellow focused on Obesity and Food Systems, she received a Master’s in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University in 2021. Prior to joining City government, Mica spent over a decade in economic and social justice organizing, including as co-founder and executive director of Media Mobilizing Project. She lives in South Philadelphia and has swum in every open public pool in the city.
Jennifer Aquilante MPH, RDN, LDN – Food Policy Coordinator/Interim Co-Program Manager
Jennifer oversees food policy and nutrition initiatives with City departments, hospitals, restaurants and other food system partners. Jennifer graduated from the University of Delaware in 2000 with a BS in Dietetics and has been a Registered Dietitian since 2001. Jennifer obtained her Master in Public Health degree from Drexel University in 2009 and has been working for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health since 2010.
Terry Johnson – Communications Specialist
He also served as director of communications and press secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare and communications director for Pennsylvania council of the Service Employees International Union. Prior to that he published Real News, a literary journal, and The Business Review, a magazine aimed at African American and Latinos entrepreneurs. He also served as a city editor of New York’s Village Voice, a writer at Newsweek magazine and a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and numerous other newspapers. He has been active in a variety of causes and served on the boards of several organizations.
Shannon Dryden – Healthy Early Childhood Coordinator
Shannon joined the division in 2017 and has a passion for working to improve the health and wellness of Philadelphia’s young children and families. Her work has focused on supporting early childhood programs with nutrition and physical activity practices and policies and has expanded to work beyond that, supporting broader systems that work with and impact our families.
Shannon graduated from Arcadia University in 2009 and prior to joining the division, held various roles from teacher to director in early childhood programs. She loves being outside and spending time in nature with her husband and three children.
Pilar Ocampo, MPH – Community Health Disparities Project Manager
A member of the Community Partnerships team, Pilar leads projects that employ equitable engagement for chronic disease and injury prevention, as well as supporting health justice and racial equity work. Pilar joined CDIP after completing a two-year Urban Health Policy Fellowship with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Pilar is currently a doctoral student at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Reach Pilar at Pilar.Ocampo@phila.gov.
Pramiti Singh, MPH – UX/UI Web Design Specialist
Since joining CDIP in 2016, Pramiti’s work has evolved into design support and user experience prioritization. After graduating from Villanova University in 2011, she earned a MPH from Temple University. Most recently, she has completed certificates in Web Design from University of the Arts as well as User Experience from General Assembly.
Pramiti is passionate about sharing essential information about the division’s work with the public in visually appealing and helpful ways. She does this through optimizing web and graphic designs for Philadelphians as well as developing communication materials to share with partners and government officials. You can reach her at Pramiti.Singh@phila.gov
Peter Barnard – Community Health and Upper North District Planner
He works with both the Department of Planning and Development as well as the Department of Public Health to address chronic health issues faced by the city’s residents through planning and as a community planner for an area of the city with nearly 150,000 people. He joined the City in March of 2020.
Prior to his current position, Peter worked for the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, Scenic Hudson and the Clean Air Council. He graduated from University of Pennsylvania School of Design with a Masters in City and Regional Planning in 2013 with a concentration in Urban Design, and attended Bennington College, where he received with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Architecture and Social/Pollical Science in 2009.
He has been a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) since 2015 and the American Planning Association since 2009.
Morgan Kelly, MPH – Health Partnerships Project Coordinator
Morgan supports PDPH’s work on the Innovative State and Local Public Health Strategies to Prevent and Manage Diabetes and Heart Disease and Stroke grant from CDC to improve the cardiovascular outcomes of Philadelphians with hypertension, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease. She also assists in convening a task force composed of healthcare, community, and government organizations working to strengthen resource referral partnerships.
Morgan joined the Department of Public Health in June 2022. Prior to her role with the City, she graduated from Saint Louis University with a Master of Public Health with concentrations in Epidemiology and Behavioral Science & Health Education.
Matthew Williams – Nutrition and Food Servicer Coordinator
Matthew works to support the Philadelphia Nutrition Standards which does work to promote the health of communities through better nutrition. He works with hospitals in the city and throughout the region via the Good Food Healthy Hospital Initiative to implement comprehensive food standards. Additionally, he also works with early childhood education providers to support children’s health and wellness.
Matthew joined the Department of Public Health in March of 2020. He graduated from West Chester University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition & Dietetics. He resides in West Philadelphia with his wife and son. You can reach Matthew at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ben Hartung – Public Policy Advisory
He assists with policy development, legal research, and program implementation across the CDIP’s program areas of Tobacco Policy and Control, Nutrition and Physical Activity, and Injury Prevention. He also works with the Health Commissioner’s Office to facilitate Board of Health regulation development and public meetings.
Ben joined the City in the winter of 2021. Before his current position, he both practiced at private law firms and worked for environmental and public health policy non-profit organizations. You can reach Ben at email@example.com.