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updated 3:04 AM, Nov 27, 2020 America/Chicago

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Noah’s Helpers builds extension to local food bank, receives donation

                               JASON CHLAPEK I PCE Joyce Knierim (right) of McWilliams & Son presents a check to Noah’s Helpers to purchase tools that were stolen from the volunteer group’s trailer last month. Members of Noah’s Helpers are (from left) Larry Jander, Bill Brewster, GB Wise, Willard Moody and Craig Knowler.

By Jason Chlapek

LIVINGSTON – Since its inception in 2004, Noah’s Helpers has been taking care of building projects throughout the community.

The volunteer group, which is part of First United Methodist Church in Livingston, has spent the last week building an extension to the Mannafest food bank. The project is expected to be complete next week.

“Mannafest has added a 30x40 addition and we’re framing it out so we can build walls and they can expand their operation,” Noah’s Helpers director Willard Moody said. “We’re also taking out walls and making a big waiting room area for their clients to come and get food and a new restroom.”

Last month, a burglary on the FUMC property resulted in Noah’s Helpers’ trailer being burglarized and several tools were stolen. But, a local business came to the aid of Noah’s Helpers in the form of a donation.

“We responded to a Facebook post about their incident,” Joyce Knierim of McWilliams & Son said. “McWilliams & Son donates to almost every nonprofit organization that goes on in Polk County. One of our biggest contributions from McWilliams & Son is we give back to our community. Our community gives to us, we give back to them.”

When Noah’s Helpers started, the group built wheelchair ramps, porches, stairs and handrails. It also took care of minor home problems.

“We do this kind of work for nonprofit organizations,” Moody said. “We don’t do projects of this magnitude too often. We probably build 3-4 wheelchair ramps a month.”

Moody said Noah’s Helpers has 11 active members. He also said that Mannafest is a food bank that was started by several churches here and it has its own board now.