Every mother or father, while cooking a dinner or making a sandwich, experience their children coming into the kitchen to intently watch their efforts. The children may be hungry or just curious, wanting to be a part of the daily routine. It is a time for learning and a happy time that needs to be seized, especially in times like these when families are sequestered in the homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vlada Vladic, CEO and leader of Vlada’s Seeds of Life, a nonprofit organization which has used televised food programs to foster healthy lifestyles and relationships since 2009.
Vladic had the idea of using her cooking skills, which won a cooking title on the national Food Network, to launch Vlada’s Seeds of Life, a mission that involves children and families to grow some of their own healthy vegetables, fruits and grains and cook them all with the help of their children.
Vlada’s Seeds of Life produced three pilot episodes of a family program called “Cooking for Kids” that were donated to national public access TV stations. She used proceeds from her Food Network winnings to produce the programs.
“Since then, initiative for better connected, healthier and happier families has grown to a number of projects. We are in season II in production of the ‘Cooking and Kids’ program,” Vladic said.
Helping children and their parents, Vladic has been in partnership with Golden Valley Seed and Friends of the Temecula Libraries since March 15, 2019, providing free fruit and vegetable seeds to the community at the Ronald H. Roberts Temecula Public Library.
However, the library has been closed since March 16, 2020, because of the governor’s “stay at home” order. The ending date for the free seed program was May 15; however, that offer may now be extended.
“This will be our second year in partnership with Golden Valley Seed and Friends of the Temecula Libraries,” she said. “We are on a mission to grow something amazing by providing the free fruit and vegetable seeds to the community. Gardening with children, family and neighbors is a fun and healthy way to connect, enjoy nature and grow your own food.”
The organization also offers “America Dines In” special events that are normally held on the fourth Wednesday of every month at the library. The events aim to connect local families and community by offering quality speakers, open discussion and a cooking/dining experience. The planned special events may begin again after the library reopens following the coronavirus pandemic.
These events are “one of the most impactful ways that we can bond is by coming together in the kitchen and around a dining table,” according to Vladic.
For now, even though the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed or postponed the local events, Vlada’s Seeds of Life is creating videos for livestreaming on YouTube to continue sharing their message.
Previous Vladic Seeds of Life projects have included collaborating with other local nonprofit organizations such as Rancho Damacitas’ “Empowerment Village” that serves struggling single mothers and “Project Independence” that serves emancipated foster youth.
Vlada’s Seeds of Life programs are shown at different times on public television stations like KOCT, KCAT and KVCR. For more information, visit https://www.vladaseedsoflife.com.
Tony Ault can be reached by email at email@example.com.