News Release

Latter-day Saint Charities Turns Over Indoor Vertical Hydroponic Equipment in LERC

To help vulnerable communities in urban Manila, a new state-of-the-art indoor vertical hydroponic garden was turnover by Latter-day Saint Charities (LDSC) to The Livelihood, Education and Rehabilitation Center (LERC) in Caloocan City on June 13, 2022. The project, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, also focuses on empowering persons with disabilities (PWD).

LERC aims to provide livelihood training for PWD who live in the surrounding neighborhoods. They also strive to provide nourishment to the 7,000 vulnerable children and their families that live near the center. 

LDSC, headed by senior couple humanitarian missionaries, Elder and Sister Steve Leininger and Elder and Sister Dell Hill, reached out to Glenn Panganiban, National Program Director for Urban Agriculture and the Bureau of Plant Industry, to offer help to the communities in urban Manila.

Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar enabled the DA-Bureau of Plant Industry to enhance the Urban Agriculture project which was made possible by Director Panganiban, whose efforts were essential to impact the said community.

Richard Arceno, director of LERC Caloocan and a PWD himself, connected with Director Panganiban to create a model for other PWD centers. He shared that there are 13,000 PWDs and their families in the neighborhood surrounding the center.

Over several weeks, Director Panganiban put together a visionary plan to transform a center for PWD in Caloocan into a showcase for others to replicate. 

LERC developed a state-of-the-art vertical indoor gardening facility to grow leafy vegetables and herbs, able to produce nutritious vegetables and herbs that can be distributed to those who are hungry and sold commercially to provide needed cash. Additionally, the center has expanded to the raising of rabbits, chickens, mushrooms, and bees. Much of the unused land has been turned into an urban gardening model for other centers to replicate.  

“Jairus Perez, Country Director for LDSC, asked that we connect with the Department of Agriculture to address issues on food security, which is a high priority for us and the DA,” Elder Leininger narrated. “We are ever grateful to Urban Greens for their expertise and training,” he continued. 

Urban Greens, one of the community partners of the project who gladly assisted with irrigation, fertilizers, and lights, attended the ceremony.

Elvin Laceda, a member of the Church who helped set up a face-to-face appointment with DA Secretary William Dar, was also present.

With funding from LDSC and contributions from other partners, the center now includes:

  • A state-of-the-art indoor vertical hydroponic garden 
  • Raising rabbits for a protein source and cash
  • Chickens for food and egg production
  • Outdoor urban gardening
  • Native bees for honey

LDSC is now looking forward to partnering with the DA in providing other sustainable sources of livelihood and food security to our disadvantaged brothers and sisters.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.