CONYERS — Mango, jalapeno and garlic are just a few ingredients the Rockdale Boys and Girls Club used at this week’s Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta “Salsa, Salsa” culinary competition.

Four representatives from the team of 11 headed to Georgia Tech Wednesday morning completely prepped with their delicious salsa as well as an informative display to show the judges.

“For several consecutive years, our team has won the People’s Choice award,” said Shanice Scott, supervisor for the Salsa Salsa crew. “This year they are going for the big one.”

The “Salsa, Salsa” event is a means for the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta (BGCMA) to highlight its cooking and gardening programs and promote healthy eating within the clubs.

“The kids really enjoy how immersed they get to be and how proactive our gardening and culinary program is here,” said Scott.

“My dad likes to cook,” said fifth-grader Armani Davis. “He also likes that I enjoy cooking and when I get to bring my recipes home.”

“Many kids, particularly from low-income neighborhoods, do not have access to healthy food and safe places to play,” said Missy Dugan, president and CEO of BGCMA. “Programs like this teach our kids that eating right and staying active can be fun. They help kids build healthy habits now we hope will stay with them for a lifetime.”

More than 20 Boys and Girls Clubs from across the city participated in this year’s event.

Each club’s salsa is judged by experts such as chefs, restaurant owners and fitness professionals, and scored on taste, aroma, consistency, presentation and originality. The winning salsa will be featured at a local Willy’s Mexicana Grill for the rest of the summer.

To learn more about the A.R. Gus Barksdale Boys & Girls Club, visit

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