THE ISSUE: Harvest/Blessings Executive Director Grace Hengesbach resigns.

OUR OPINION: A great loss, as she served in her position exceptionally well.

Citrus County Harvest recently announced the resignation of Harvest and Citrus County Blessings Executive Director Grace Hengesbach, who for the last four years has worked tirelessly to grow the Blessings program exponentially throughout Citrus County.

Under the direction and leadership of Hengesbach, the Blessings program has successfully increased its assistance in feeding food-

insecure children — from serving nine schools, to all 21 public and four private schools in Citrus.

That’s extraordinary.

Blessings now feeds approximately 1,600 school children each Friday, providing students with backpacks filled with snacks for the weekend.

Hengesbach has also served the hungry through and the Harvest program, which utilizes unused restaurant food for a local soup kitchen, and the Feed the Kids program, which provides students with meals during summer break. Where there has been a community hunger need, Grace Hengesbach has worked to fulfill it.

Most recently, she collaborated with the Citrus County Education Foundation (CCEF) to stock food in the CCEF school store, providing teachers with snacks to distribute to students when they come to school hungry.

Hengesbach’s unwavering dedication, positive, kind and calm demeanor have defined her leadership skills as one-of-a-kind. She has been able to build strong relationships with donors, and has proven to be an effective communicator and leader.

The Harvest board of directors said her resignation is a major loss to the organization. Without a doubt, she has been an invaluable asset to Citrus County Blessings and her presence will be missed by many.

It will take some searching to find someone as effective as Hengesbach. She has worked incredibly hard and has made an extremely positive impact on the community.

She will be an asset anywhere she goes, and hopefully her spirit in feeding the Citrus community will remain contagious to incoming leadership at Citrus County Blessings.

The Harvest board has started a statewide search for a new executive director immediately. Interested parties should visit to view a job description, minimum requirements and guidelines for applying.

(1) comment


Having worked with Grace Hengesbach as a Blessings board member for the last four years, I may be biased, but you are so right that her she has contributed much in such a short time. Her servant leadership style of running Blessings has been a gift. Her quiet, and very determined, dedication to erasing food insecurity in our community is an inspiration. She's smart, organized, honest and compassionate. It's a loss to Blessings, but Grace cares so much about our community and those in need, I feel certain this is not the last we will hear from her. I am fortunate to have been one of the very lucky people to be a part of her journey the last four years!

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