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Coca-Cola Foundation’s $3 million grant to help put veterans to work

Updated: December 14, 2012 6:19AM

Mayor Rahm Emanuel touted a $3 million grant from the Coca-Cola Foundation on Monday that he said will be used to create wellness programs through the city’s park district and put veterans back to work.

The grant will be used to create the Park Families Wellness Initiative, featuring affordable nutrition education and active-lifestyle programs, according to the mayor’s office. It also will offer military-style fitness classes called “Coca-Cola Troops for Fitness.”

Over the next four years, military veterans will be hired to teach sessions on calisthenics, sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups and other fitness and nutritional techniques, city officials said. The pilot program will be available in more than 60 facilities by 2016.

Emanuel made the announcement at Fosco Park. He said one goal of the program is to help Chicago’s veterans get back on their feet.

“I want to make sure, given all their spirit, their sense of dedication and service, that we, this city, do not lose sight of it and help them as they re-enter civilian life,” Emanuel said.

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