Lee Trotman, Southern California Edison (SCE) Employee, Volunteers with the Los Angeles Food Bank

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Lee Trotman and Southern California Edison employees spend their time serving low income seniors at the Los Angeles Food Bank.

I really enjoy volunteering at the Los Angeles Food Bank because they're filling a very real need. For many people, if the Food Bank doesn't exist, they don't eat. - Lee Trotman, Southern California Edison (SCE)

The Los Angeles Food Bank was started by Tony Collier in 1973 when he began collecting surplus food in his two car garage for distribution to other agencies and to needy people. He believed that there was a need for food in the community, and he felt that "we're trying to supply a basic need." Certainly his brainchild, the Los Angeles Food Bank has more than fulfilled his dream. From that humble beginning, the Los Angeles Food Bank, now the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, has grown in this 40th anniversary year into a non-profit agency distributing more than 60 million pounds of food annually to over 643 other agencies in the area. These satellite agencies serve the homeless, the needy, the elderly, homes for abused and battered women and children, soup kitchens, and other charitable organizations. Over 31,000 volunteers participate in receiving, sorting, and repackaging food for distribution.

Southern California Edison (SCE), the major supplier of energy to the southern California area, also has a strong philanthropic philosophy, giving over $19 million to nonprofit agencies throughout central and southern California. They, too, support a strong volunteer effort; just recently Lee Trotman, an employee of the company, worked with other company volunteers in contributing their time and energy at the Los Angeles Food Bank packaging over 1000 food packages for low income seniors. Mr. Trotman says, "As far back as I can remember, my family taught me to serve others and put them before yourself. This is a practical reality in my life when I volunteer. I really enjoy volunteering at the Los Angeles Food Bank because they're filling a very real need. For many people, if the Food Bank doesn't exist, they don't eat. That thought alone breaks my heart."

Southern California Edison does not stop with monetary giving and volunteer efforts. It also operates the "Incredible Edible Park," an 8-acre plot of formerly unused land located under their power lines, but now turned into a productive garden plot worked and cared for by Second Harvest. Of the produce they grow, Sam Caruthers, the Second Harvest coordinator, says "Anything we pick normally gets out on somebody's plate within about four days," Caruthers said. "We lose a little but we don't lose a lot."

The opinions expressed in this article are from individuals and do not necessarily represent the positions, strategies or opinions of Southern California Edison, its parent company Edison International, or any of their affiliates.

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Brandon Hopkins
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