NUNM Mourns Longtime Supporter Bob Moore, Founder of Bob’s Red Mill

With wife Charlee, Oregon-based philanthropist sponsored food as medicine programs and helped fight childhood obesity.

Bob Moore standing in front of a tree

Bob Moore, founder of Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods and longtime supporter of the National University of Natural Medicine, died on February 10. He was 94. 

NUNM’s friendship with Moore and his wife Charlee, who passed away in 2018, began in 2010 with the annual Bob’s Red Mill Integrative Scholarship Medicine Cup. The couple also sponsored the creation of the Ending Childhood Obesity (ECO) Project, NUNM’s community-based nutrition education and cooking program offered in low-income areas in Portland. With Bob and Charlee’s support, 1,000 individuals have now completed the series, including more than 6,000 workshops and 9,000 hours of physician-led nutrition education. 

Charlee and Bob Moore

In 2012, the couple’s generosity helped NUNM build the Helfgott Research Institute, including Charlee’s Kitchen, for which Moore’s wife is the namesake. The teaching kitchen has created opportunities for physicians, chefs and other nutrition experts to lead hands-on nutrition training for medical and research students as well as community members. 

It was thanks to innovation of the ECO Project, which expanded into the Food as Medicine Everyday series, and Charlee’s Kitchen that helped NUNM create its Master of Science in Nutrition program. All of which culminated in the establishment of the Food As Medicine Institute (FAMI), which just hosted its 10th annual Food As Medicine Symposium on campus this past weekend. 

“We are forever grateful to Bob and Charlee Moore,” said Dr. Andrew Erlandsen ‘11, lead physician of FAMI and NUNM alum. “Their generosity allowed us to expand our reach and provide increased educational experiences for our students and community. Through Bob and Charlee’s support, we’ve been able to impact countless lives by promoting healthy eating and lifestyles.” 

In 2014, NUNM (formerly the National College of Natural Medicine) awarded Moore with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree to recognize the natural foods pioneer and philanthropist for his enduring support of natural medicine. 

“Bob Moore’s unwavering dedication to promoting whole food, fostering successful business practices, and championing health will unquestionably leave a lasting impact on the well-being of individuals and the sustainability of our community,” said Dr. Melanie Henriksen ’05, president of NUNM.

Bob and Charlee opened Bob’s Red Mill near Milwaukie, Oregon, in 1978 stone grinding grains into flours and cereals and blending whole grain mixes for the Portland area. By 2000, the company was distributing its whole grains to the world, and today Bob’s Red Mill products are in more than 80 countries.

The partnership between the Moores and NUNM grew from the shared concern regarding the rise in nutrition-related diseases affecting children such as diabetes, hypertension and liver disease.

“With the money we received from turning Bob’s Red Mill into an employee-owned company, we have supported programs at… [NUNM] aimed at ending childhood obesity,” Moore said in a 2017 interview. “At [NUNM], we have supported research into using food as medicine and created a local program that teaches families how to prepare and shop for healthy foods.”

Courtney Jackson, Bob Moore and Julie Briley standing. Bob is holding a framed degree
Bob Moore, center, received an honorary degree from the National University of Natural Medicine in 2014. Pictured with Dr. Courtney Jackson, left, and Dr. Julie Briley, co-founders of the Food As Medicine Institute.