Professional chef Linda Boggioni of Columbus State Community College has been working with the Food for Thought program for several years now to increase awareness of the importance of whole grains in a healthy diet. Food for Thought, an initiative sponsored by the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers, Ohio Corn and Wheat provides grants to state FFA groups to promote healthy eating. Boggioni teaches high school students about gluten and whole grains, leading them through a whole grain and healthy cooking lesson. The students then develop nutrition awareness campaigns focused on improved diets, particularly the value of whole grains.
About 5000 students have been reached through these campaigns annually. The FFA groups have also worked with at least 250 community groups around Ohio such as food banks, local grocery stores and homeless shelters over the past 5 years. Activities include passing out healthy snacks at elementary schools, providing information about gluten, sharing nutritious recipes, working with school cafeterias to include healthy items, and creating food drives and food baskets. In one example of her involvement, Boggioni hosted an educational seminar for students in at Clear Fork High School on how to make healthy whole grain snacks. Students sampled whole grain pancakes, granola, hummus, and more.