What began as an effort to make raising livestock more affordable for local children has grown into a nonprofit that provides meat products to local children and family shelters.

Levi McBee, owner of Buffalo Wings and Rings in New Braunfels, helped found the nonprofit group called We’re All In in 2009.

The organization raises money to increase sale prices of animals that fall on the low end of the bidding scale at the Comal County Junior Livestock Show to support children and families who spend countless hours raising the animals. The group often focuses on livestock that are not bought by other buyers.

“It was something to help kind of make different steps to get the kids a decent price on their animals,” McBee said.

Many of the families and business owners who donate to the program have been involved in livestock shows for generations, McBee said, and donors regularly volunteer during the group’s events.

During its first year of fundraising, We’re All In raised $25,000, compared to $96,425 raised ahead of the 2021 livestock show. Originally, the animals purchased by the nonprofit were added to traditional distribution channels and processed to be sold to consumers.

In 2011, the group implemented a new program called Kids Feeding Kids in which the animals that are purchased are processed and the meat is donated to shelters in Comal County that house and support families and children.

Granzin’s Meat Market butchers process and package the meat for free before volunteers deliver it to New Life Children’s Center, the Crisis Center of Comal County, Connections Individual and Family Services, and other area homeless and crisis shelters.

“Kids that are raising animals with their parents are feeding kids that often don’t have parents,” McBee said. “It takes a village to raise a kid ... We don’t get to always help out kids that are in these shelters.”

During the 2021 livestock show that took place March 3-5, Kids Feeding Kids purchased six hogs and three steers that were processed and delivered in April, McBee said.

While the organization was not able to host many of its regular fundraisers, McBee has seen support grow as residents who once showed animals have gotten involved.

“The generations we were helping back then are now helping and volunteering and working with us to keep it going,” McBee said.