The Milwaukee, Ore., advocate for whole grains and healthy eating donates $5 million to launch a new research and outreach center at Oregon State University focused on whole grain foods nutrition.

Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, Inc., a stone grinding miller of whole grains, natural, organic and gluten-free grains, flours, cereals, meals and mixes for pancakes, breads and soups, is helping establish a whole grain foods nutrition center at Oregon State University.

Bob and Charlee Moore, founders of Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, Milwaukee, Ore., are creating the Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health in the College of Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University.

The academic center will build on the college’s research on nutrition, childhood obesity and related topics and help promote healthy eating throughout Oregon and elsewhere.

“Making healthy, whole grain food is what I believe in and what I have focused on for 30-plus years,” says Bob Moore, the company’s CEO. “Charlee and I are particularly concerned about the pressure on young people to eat junk: pop, candy, empty calories. Far too many kids are overweight, and so are their parents. It’s a very serious problem for our nation and the world. This center at OSU will help provide solutions.”

The gift will provide endowments for the center’s director and an additional professor, along with two programmatic funds to support the center’s research and outreach, including a fund focused on childhood obesity. This will enhance the college’s current efforts to develop, deliver and evaluate effective public health obesity prevention strategies for schools and communities.

The gift also will create an endowed fellowship fund for graduate students who want to study, research and advance the health and nutritional benefits of whole grain foods. A final portion of the gift will allow the university to renovate the food research laboratory in Milam Hall, where faculty and students will study whole grain foods and ways to promote healthy eating behavior. The lab will be renamed in honor of the Moore family.

The Moores started Bob’s Red Mill in 1978 in a historic flour mill. Their mission was to grind whole grains into flours, cereals and mixes for the local community and move people back to the basics with healthy whole grains, high fiber and complex carbohydrates. Now, Bob's Red Mill has become a leading provider of whole grain natural foods with international distribution.