Donna Ayer, who has been dedicated to the Southington community for 30 years, has been named the new Executive Director for Bread for Life, effective Nov. 1. Eldon Hafford, who has served in that role since 2007, recently announced his retirement and will serve as a consultant through the end of the year to help Ayer’s transition. After a brief respite, Hafford will join the organization’s Board of Directors.

Ayer has been the Community Development Director of the Southington Community YMCA since 2005. Her 28-year career with the YMCA included stints as Child Care Director, Membership and Marketing Director and Community Development Assistant. Prior to that, she was a resource room teacher at Thalberg School.

Ayer has also served the community through extensive volunteering including for Bread for Life, Southington Community Services, Main Street Community Foundation, the Calvanese Foundation and Mary our Queen Parish. She earned her degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Connecticut in 1986.

“Donna has demonstrated a long-time commitment to Southington and to helping our citizens in need. She brings to this role an outstanding background that will allow Bread for Life to build off the strong foundation Eldon has built,” said Mike Soltys, Bread for Life Board Chairman.

Ayer added: “I am excited to accept the role of Executive Director for Bread for Life.  The mission Bread for Life carries out every day is a vital part of our community.  I am honored to have been chosen to develop the legacy that Eldon, the Board, BFL volunteers and staff have built.  I look forward to working with all the community agencies, churches, donors, and individuals associated with Bread for Life and am humbled to continue the important work that Bread for Life does in Southington.”

Hafford said: “Donna’s leadership and dedication to our town will continue to move us forward to meet the goals of Bread For Life.”

Bread for Life’s mission is to ensure that no one in Southington goes hungry. The organization is currently building a new facility on Vermont Avenue that will allow it to consolidate its operations and grow to meet future needs of the community.