Fighting childhood hunger through education and games

Agape summer camp in northwest Atlanta is in full swing, aerobics, soccer, tennis, but on this day they are doing a very special program. Sponsored by Open Hand Atlanta and Quality Care for Children or Q-C-C, these campers are getting a healthy dose of nutrition and fun. Through a zany snack pairing game, and Sugar Shocks, a look at what's really inside some different drinks, these kids have been in for some surprises.

“I learned that I shouldn't drink Gatorade and stuff,” says 12-year-old Mariana Hernandez, “because it has too much sugar, and Pepsi.”

“I saw many of our kids kind of their eyes get really big when they saw the cups of sugar and realized how much sugar is in a can of soda,” says Marlon Montgomery, Youth Program Coordinator. “And you know little things like that are things that impact these kids for the rest of their lives.”

And for these kids, learning how to make good food choices is critical.

“Well you can't really tell by appearances,” says Pam Tatum, President and CEO of Quality Care for Children.

Tatum adds that one in four children in Georgia is food insecure, meaning: they often don't know if or when they will eat, they frequently skip meals, and when they do eat, it's often junk food.

“They're not starving, but they're not getting the nutrition that they need,” says Tatum.

So, games like this top chef challenge in which the kids create a fancy dessert, and a panel of expert judges weighs in, make cooking and eating healthy a blast.

“It was very competitive,” says ten year old Christian Hodges. “Like I really wanted to win, so I tried my best and did my hardest.”

And in the end, Christian and his teammates won first place.

“It was fun,” says Christian. “And my favorite part of it was the cooking challenge because I won.”

A win-win for everyone!