A Bountiful Harvest

A Bountiful Harvest

An SCE retiree helps found a nonprofit to harvest trees and collect fruit for those in need.

SCE retiree Jeff Lebow leads Harvest Club events almost every weekend.

Jeff Lebow and a team of Harvest Club volunteers picked more than 700 pounds of fruit from a tree in Huntington Beach to donate to local food banks.

Last year, Harvest Club volunteers picked more than 52,000 pounds of fresh fruit.

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Thursday, July 16, 2015 - 5:20pm

CONTENT: Article

In Orange County, about 60 percent of homes have a fruit tree in the yard producing fruit every year — too much for the average family to consume on their own. Jeff Lebow — a Southern California Edison (SCE) retiree — noticed this and saw an opportunity.

In his hometown of Huntington Beach, Lebow saw fruit on the ground — wasting away. He also knew that Orange County has more than 400,000 residents going hungry.

“In 2008, I was up in my own tree picking persimmons to donate to my church for Thanksgiving,” Lebow said. “It was taking hours and I remember thinking, ‘boy, I could really use some help with this.’”

A year later, Lebow and a group of friends founded the Harvest Club of Orange County. At the time, he was working as a project manager in SCE’s Economic Development Services where he helped potential customers create new startup businesses. Creating a club to tackle the fruit problem was a natural fit.

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