PASCAL Canning, an Irish national who married a Filipino woman from Maasin City, distributed over 1,000 packs of seeds and seedlings to the public during the Agri-Fair and Garden Show at the Capitol Grounds in Maasin in celebration of the 59th Southern Leyte Founding Anniversary on July 1.

A resort owner, humanitarian worker and philanthropist in his mid-50s, Canning founded the non-stock/non-profit Star Apple Foundation shortly after the 2013 Super Typhoon Yolanda to build houses and provide livelihood support to hundreds of storm victims in Leyte and nearby towns.

“Star Apple Foundation will have a stall promoting gardening in every home,” he said.

Canning said he is giving away seeds and plants that are easy to grow for children like okra, patola, pechay, and other types of vegetables.

He also provided video tutorials on how to grow the plants aside from hosting a chili eating competition during the event.

Canning thanked their main sponsor, Cloughjordan National School No. 1 in County Tipperary, Ireland. The secondary sponsors are 7-pot Club, growNglow and Caimito Beach in Barangay Pasay, Maasin City.

After Yolanda, Canning and his foundation built a total of 188 houses mostly in Leyte towns.

For the past few years, Star Apple Foundation has been feeding 50 children for five days of each week.

They have already held 13,000 to 14,000 dinners for underweight children each year. (SunStar Philippines)