Published January 05. 2013 4:00AM
New London - Four term State Rep. Tom Reynolds, who did not run for re-election in the 42nd District in November, began work Wednesday as interim vice president of the Gemma Moran United Way/Labor Food Bank.
He replaces Kelly Horton, who was hired three months ago to run the food bank. She left in December.
"She decided to move on, and we wished her the best,'' said Jill Davoll, marketing and communications director for the United Way, which oversees the food bank.
Reynolds said he has made a six-month commitment to the United Way and will look at how the food bank is organized and its functions.
"The structure may not resemble what it was before,'' he said. "There might be different functions."
Davoll said Reynolds will be looking at the impact the food bank has in the community and how it might expand its services, such as offering nutritional advice and recipes.
"The food bank is not just about giving out food,'' she said, "but also about how we improve people's lives."
Eventually, the United Way will search for a permanent vice president for the food bank, she said.
The food bank is also preparing to roll out a new refrigerated truck, donated by Connecticut Light & Power, which will make it possible for perishable food, such as meats and fresh fruits and vegetables, to be delivered to more remote parts of the county, she said.
Although the community was generous during the holidays and the food bank had a "huge influx of donations,'' Davoll said, more food is always welcome. The most sought-after foods include canned fruits and vegetables, soups and stews, oatmeal and tuna fish, dry pasta and peanut butter.
The food bank, at 374 Broad St., distributes more than 2 million pounds of food annually to 96 food pantries, soup kitchens, day care centers and senior centers in New London County.
The United Way estimates more than 20,000 people receive food from the center each year.