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Mayor Castro and Coca-Cola Announce $1.5 Million in Grants to Get San Antonians Moving

By:  The Coca-Cola Company Jun 26, 2013
The Coca-Cola Foundation logo

Grants Will Support Coca-Cola Troops for Fitness Program

SAN ANTONIO, June 26, 2013 - Mayor Julián Castro joined Coca-Cola to unveil a substantial next step in the SA2020 health and fitness goals.  Totaling $1.5M, grants from The Coca-Cola Foundation to San Antonio Sports and the San Antonio Food Bank will expand the Mobilizing Health and Fitness Resources to Neighborhoods Project. This program intends to increase physical activity by marshaling wellness resources to neighborhoods through multiple initiatives.

  • Mobile Fit San Antonio will bring fitness activities to various locations throughout San Antonio, free of charge.  The program engages people with a fitness vehicle offering mobile exercise equipment, mobile fitness coaches and a health kiosk.
  • Ride-to-Own will distribute 450 bicycles to 15 community centers.  People who have attended mandatory cycling safety lessons will have access to the bikes.
  • San Antonio Sports Afterschool Program will serve 45 campuses and nearly 500 low-income youth.  The program will expand homework assistance as well as mentoring, fitness and nutrition education.

Through Mobile Fit San Antonio, the grant will also support the Coca-Cola Troops for Fitness program, military-style fitness classes taught by hired U.S. veterans. The veterans will serve as Mobile Fit coaches and instructors for other park physical activity events.

“This is a great example of the positive impact we can have when we leverage public-private partnerships,” said Mayor Castro. “This project will provide health and fitness resources across the city of San Antonio – where our communities need it most while at the same time providing employment opportunities to our nation’s heroes.”

The Foundation grant will also support the Mobile Food Market (MFM) and Nutrition Education on the Move (NEOM) programs. Through a mobile vehicle, the San Antonio Food Bank will distribute fruits and vegetables and provide nutrition education free of charge.

These programs will help increase access to nutritious foods and nutrition education for low-income families and seniors.

“Together with Mayor Castro and the Mayor’s Fitness Council, we are helping to develop workable solutions to address obesity in a sustainable way,” said Sonya Soutus, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs and Communications, Coca-Cola North America Group. “As the SA2020 Champion for Health and Wellness, Coca-Cola is encouraging and helping people of all ages to exercise and learn to live a balanced lifestyle.”

San Antonio Sports and San Antonio Food Bank are among many grantees from around the world that are amplifying their active living and nutrition education programs due to local grants from The Coca-Cola Foundation.

In 2012, The Coca-Cola Company joined the beverage industry to launch the Calories Count™ Vending Program in San Antonio and Chicago. This initiative gives people the choices, information and encouragement they need to choose the beverages that are right for themselves and their families.  Earlier this year in both cities, Coca-Cola vending machines, and those of all other industry beverage partners, began featuring calorie information for each beverage selection. Messages promote lower calorie beverages and remind people that all calories count.

The mission of the Mayor’s Fitness Council (MFC) is to lead San Antonio to become of the healthiest and most active communities in the nation.  Through the MFC, residents, groups, and organizations work collaboratively to achieve targeted health and fitness goals. The MFC serves as the primary entity for the Mobilizing Health and Fitness Resources to Neighborhoods Project.

Since its inception, The Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded more than $500 million to support global 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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