“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 www.thecoca-colacompany.com/citizenship/foundation_coke.html.

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