Mayor Emanuel and Coca-Cola Announce $3 Million Grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation That Will Create Jobs for Veterans

  Mayor Emanuel and Coca-Cola Announce $3 Million Grant from The Coca-Cola
  Foundation That Will Create Jobs for Veterans

      Grant Will Create Largest Affordable Wellness Program in the City

Business Wire

CHICAGO -- November 12, 2012

Mayor Emanuel joined Steve Cahillane, President and CEO of Coca-Cola
Refreshments, today to announce a $3 million grant from The Coca-Cola
Foundation to the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance. This grant will create
the Park Families Wellness Initiative, which will feature affordable nutrition
education and active lifestyle programs for Chicago communities who are most
in need of wellness services. The initiative, which will be run by the Chicago
Park District, will also allow the Park District to hire U.S. veterans to
teach military-style fitness classes called “Coca-Cola Troops for Fitness.”
The program will be available in more than 60 community facilities reaching
125,000 residents annually by 2016, making the Park District the leading
provider of affordable health programs in the city.

“This public-private partnership will improve nutrition and health in our
neighborhoods while creating jobs and economic opportunity for Chicago’s
returning heroes,” said Mayor Emanuel. “These resources will allow residents
across the city to live a healthier lifestyle and will help inspire good
nutritional and health choices by our families.”

The Chicago Park District will also tap returning military veterans to teach
military style fitness classes through the Troops for Fitness program. Over
the next four years, military vets will teach sessions on calisthenics,
sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups and other fitness and nutritional techniques. The
grant also provides resources to create adaptive recreation classes for
disabled veterans.

“Together with Mayor Emanuel and Garfield Park Conservatory, we want to
increase access to nutrition education and physical activity programs in
underserved communities,” said Steve Cahillane, President and CEO, Coca-Cola
Refreshments. “Obesity can’t be solved overnight. However, collaborative
programs like the Parks Families Wellness Initiative are a start and should be
encouraged throughout the country.”

The Coca-Cola Foundation is committed to building sustainable communities by
encouraging individuals, families and communities to live active, healthy
lifestyles. Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance, working with the Chicago Park
District, is among many grantees from around the country that are amplifying
their active living and nutrition education programs as a result of local
grants from The Coca-Cola Foundation.

“Investing in Chicago’s parks will provide long term benefits to improve the
health of our communities,” said Michael Kelly, Superintendent, Chicago Park
District. “The grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation will allow us to hire some
of our nation’s heroes and create exciting ways to get youth, adults and
families active. It is one of many things that Chicago is doing to improve
health in our neighborhoods and get people into our parks, and allows us to
support national efforts like Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ initiative. This
is exactly where we hope to be in Chicago.”

Last month, The Coca-Cola Company joined the beverage industry to launch the
Calories Count™ Vending Program in Chicago and San Antonio. This initiative
will give people the choices, information and encouragement they need to
choose the beverages that are right for themselves and their families.
Beginning in 2013, Coca-Cola vending machines, as well as those of all other
industry beverage partners in both cities, will feature calorie information
for each beverage selection. Messages will promote lower calorie beverages and
remind people that all calories count. Following the launch in Chicago and San
Antonio, the program will be rolled out across the country in 2013.

These are just some of the advancements the City of Chicago has made to combat
obesity and improve wellness in Chicago. Chicago Lives Healthy, the nation’s
largest municipal wellness program, launched this year and has more than
38,000 registrants. Mayor Emanuel has additionally led an effort to combat
food deserts and has worked with national retailers to ensure that access to
fresh fruits and vegetables is available in every part of Chicago.

The Coca-Cola Foundation awarded more than $70 million to 263 community
organizations around the world in 2011 to support sustainable community
initiatives, including water stewardship, community recycling, active, healthy
living, and education. For more information about The Coca-Cola Foundation,
please go to


Coca-Cola Refreshments
Katie Busch, 847-600-2272; 312-953-4463
Mayor’s Press Office
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